Emissions permit auction to force SME Europe exit

08 October 2008 11:56  [Source: ICIS news]

PARIS (ICIS news)--The decision by the European Parliament’s (EP) environment committee on Tuesday to make industry purchase emissions permits under the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) after 2012 will force small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to leave Europe, said the SME Union on Wednesday.

Christoph Leitl, president of the network of pro-business centre-right politicians, said the environment committee’s vote to introduce mandatory auctioning and reduce the amount of emissions permits allocated for free was “a great disappointment for the European economy”.

“Against the warnings of business it has decided to burden the industry already from 2013 onwards with carbon dioxide (CO2) fees which never can be carried out”, he said.

“Enterprises, which will face massive burdens in a few years, will not invest in Europe anymore, but will shift their investments to other areas,” he said.

“We already feel the effects because many concerned enterprises have suspended their investment plans for now until the necessary disburdening signals come from Brussels,” he added.

SME Union had backed the demands of the chemical industry for a benchmark system - that would reward with free allowances those companies that invest or have already invested in reducing their emissions – instead of forcing all companies to purchase emission permits.

The environment committee voted on Tuesday in favour of auctioning all emission permits for power generators from 2013, and 15% auctioning for energy-intensive industries in 2013 rising to 100% by 2020.

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By: Philippa Jones
+44 20 8652 3214

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