Europe chems players want carbon benchmarking

23 January 2008 12:54  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--The granting of free carbon dioxide emission permits based on a benchmarking system is the only way in which energy intensive industries in Europe can be encouraged to cut emissions, the region's chemicals makers said on Wednesday.

Without an international carbon control agreement a CO2 auctioning process for producers in the European Union (EU) alone would damage the industry’s capacity to cut emissions further, trade group Cefic said.

Cefic’s statement was made ahead of publication of the European Commission’s proposals for a re-vamped CO2 emission trading scheme (ETS) and a raft of other measures to help the EU meet its climate change targets.

The Commission’s proposal is expected to envisage having full auctioning by 2020 for industry sectors to have the right to release CO2 emissions. Free allocation of emission allowances is expected to cease.

“There is no use damaging the chemical industry. We work for the benefit of all and we remain part of the solution,” Cefic director general, Alain Perroy said.

Energy intensive industries have lobbied the Commission hard for some relief from a more onerous CO2 emissions regime that they believe would hit them particularly hard and drive business out of the EU.

Chemicals executives are more concerned than their peers in other industries about the impact of carbon emissions regulations on growth, a survey of chief executives from business advisors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), showed on Wednesday.

More than half (54%) of the 41 chemicals sector respondents in the PwC annual survey agreed that they are investing significant resources to address the risks and opportunities of climate change, compared to 38% across all industries.

Executives were also more concerned about disruptions to the supply chain and threats to people and property due to bad weather and changing weather patterns.

More than four fifths of respondents (83%) saw rising energy and raw material costs as a “an extremely urgent threat”, PwC said.

The survey results were released on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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