Next Tuesday (16 April), the European Parliament’s Plenary will vote on EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) back-loading proposals, a measure designed to address the current surplus of carbon allowances in the market. The impact of the surplus has been to push down the value of the carbon price and therefore undermine low-carbon investments.
The UK Government wants to see a strong EU ETS which allows emissions reductions from European industry at the lowest cost, and therefore calls for united support around back-loading alongside a link to longer-term structural reform.
UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, said today:
“The current low carbon price, caused by the large over-supply of allowances in the market, risks damaging growth and investment in green technologies.
“Removing some of these allowances over the next few years would help to restore confidence in the market, before longer-term reforms to strengthen the system can be brought in.
“An agreement on this now would minimise uncertainty in the market.
“Any delay could lead to greater costs in the long-term in meeting the EU’s 2050 objectives and would undermine the move to a low-carbon economy.
“If back-loading and structural reform are not supported, Member States may adopt unilateral policies to deliver their energy and climate objectives and stimulate investment, creating a complex patchwork of climate legislation across the EU that is inefficient and increases regulatory burdens on industry.
“The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) is a cornerstone of climate change policy, which is helping the UK meet its climate change goals and ensures that emission reductions in energy intensive industries are achieved at the lowest cost”.
Updated 16 April 2013
The European Parliament’s Plenary has rejected the back-loading proposals by a margin of 334-315.
Read the Government response.