BusinessEurope calls on MEPs to oppose quota freeze
By Anne Eckstein | Friday 10 February 2012
In a letter addressed to the members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry (ITRE), BusinessEurope calls MEPs to vote, on 28 February, against the amendment of the draft directive on energy efficiency presented, on 20 December 2011, by the Committee on the Environment (ENVI). The amendment would consist in “freezing” part of the emissions quotas, which are allocated under the Union’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS).
BusinessEurope recalls that European enterprises have committed to covering their share of emissions and have claimed to be in good stead to reach the objective of a 21% reduction by 2020, compared to 2005. Yet if a quota freeze were to be established, “it would create more price uncertainty and price volatility and would set a dangerous precedent of political interference on the market,” according to BusinessEurope.
BusinessEurope considers that discussions on the future of the ETS should not focus solely on the short-term price of quotas, which is heavily influenced by the depressed economic perspective. The organisation is asking for an “open” discussion with all the actors concerned on the general climate policy and the long-term future of the ETS. This debate should be based on an evaluation of the mechanism and should propose possible emission reduction options for those sectors that are subject to ETS, as well as those that are not.
The debate should also take into account the impacts on the European industry. It should recognise that carbon pricing is not the only useful way of leading an efficient climate policy, and that the industries consuming energy need support to avoid carbon leaks and to prevent a loss of European competitiveness on the world markets.