Green groups stage the world’s first open air carbon auction to urge MEPs to put the right price on pollution
09 April 2013
CAN Europe and WWF staged a live carbon auction in front of the European Parliament with outlandish bidders and a giant black balloon representing one tonne of CO2 emissions. An auctioneer started the bidding at 30€/tonne; but did industry bid for the climate or for cheap pollution?
The "auction" came ahead of a European Parliament plenary vote on 16 April on the "backloading" proposal for the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS). CAN Europe and WWF support the backloading proposal as a necessary first step toward deep reform of the EU ETS.
Public consulation on ETS structural measures
05 March 2013
Last November the European Commission presented six options for the EU's carbon market structural reform that would enhance the Emission Trading Scheme's effectiveness and restore its relevance as a main tool of EU climate policies.
Responding the the EU Commission's public consultation, CAN Europe expressed its support for an increase of the EU climate target to 30% domestic emission reductions by 2020, permanent withdrawal of emission allowances, a steeper yearly reduction in the number of allowances and limits to offset credits (options a, b, c and e).These solutions would help to fix the carbon market, providing boosts for green investments and ensuring that the EU does not lock itself into high-carbon infrastructure for decades.
The 'back-loading' proposal - currently being passing through the European Parliament - can give the EU's carbon market a short-term boost, but only structural reform can revive the credibility of the ETS in the long-term. The fundamental changes to the ETS's functioning are urgently required to address the growing surplus of allowances and to ensure that the EU will cost-efficiently achieve the upper end of its 2050 climate objective to reduce emissions by 80-95%.
European Voice - February 14 2013
14 February 2013
TURNING POINT FOR THE ETS
The emissions-trading scheme needs reform, but first it needs an immediate patch
By Wendel Trio and Bernadette Segol
(Read the article in the European Voice)
The EU's flagship climate-policy tool, the EU emissions-trading scheme (ETS), is at a turning point. With the price of carbon hovering way below €5 per tonne and a glut of permits on the market, something must be fixed or the EU's main climate-policy instrument will turn to dust. As a first step towards correcting the problem, the European Commission has proposed a measure to withhold pollution permits temporarily, a process called 'back-loading'.
Back-loading appears harmless enough. All withheld allowances would re-enter the market before the end of this decade. Furthermore, back-loading would not affect credits already owned by companies. Given that the European Commission and many stakeholders recognise that structural measures are needed, back-loading seems like a small step to take.
But opponents do not want even this modest, temporary reform. Despite little evidence that businesses are relocating mainly due to EU climate policy, they claim that back-loading will cause investors to move outside Europe. The opposite is the case. If the EU provides no incentive for low-carbon innovation, European businesses will be left behind in what is a global race to a greener, more sustainable future.
With the carbon price now at a record low, the ETS is failing to drive long-term clean-tech investment, which is its second crucial objective. If the ETS were functioning as intended, the price of carbon would probably be much higher. The argument that the EU is achieving its emissions-reductions goals and, therefore, that the ETS is working ignores this. Moreover, it downplays the synergies that could be created between climate policy and economic innovation if a share of auction revenues were earmarked to support the transition towards a low-carbon economy.