Green groups stage the world’s first open air carbon auction to urge MEPs to put the right price on pollution

Climate action

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.

“A positive vote next week will go some way toward mitigating the severe problems faced by the EU’s carbon market, which has so far failed to encourage innovation or dissuade polluters due to the hopelessly low cost of allowances,” said Sam Van de plas of WWF European Policy Office. “But backloading of emission allowances is only a temporary first step. Structural reforms of the carbon market need to make a reality of the EU’s 30 percent domestic carbon emission reduction commitments by 2020.”

“Right now industry lobbyists pay more for a hamburger than for a tonne of carbon, which is not putting the right price on pollution,” said Julia Michalak of CAN Europe. “Next week’s backloading vote is a test for the European Parliament. MEPs will show whether they will bid for the climate and a green European future or for more cheap pollution.”