08 October 2008 14:28 [Source: ICIS news]
PARIS (ICIS news)--The European Parliament's vote on the shape of the EU's emissions trading scheme (ETS) beyond 2012 failed to offer the certainty needed to preserve jobs, industry body Cefic said on Wednesday.
Cefic - The European Chemical Industry Council - said the decision to increase the costs of emissions rights through auctioning was not an effective way to tackle climate change.
“Without a truly international agreement with the same rules across the board, the auctioning system will place a unilateral and costly burden on the European chemical industry,” it said in a statement.
Cefic wants to see industry subject to a benchmarking process – whereby “world-class industry performers who develop new low carbon processes…receive free allocations” – instead of the auctioning of emissions permits.
“We support benchmarking because this would provide a strong motivation for continuously improving carbon dioxide (CO2) performance, while a generalised auctioning mechanism would penalise everybody, including the best performers,” said Alain Perroy, Cefic’s director general.
He said the chemical industry wanted to tackle climate change and drive the shift to a low carbon economy but said Tuesday's vote "fell short of equipping us with the appropriate tools,” adding that it had failed to “give the required certainty and balance to preserve European industries’ competitiveness and jobs."
Cefic said the proposal agreed by the environment committee did not provide workable criteria to check which sectors were considered as exposed to international competition.
“The protection against speculative markets still remains unclear and the definition of truly international agreements remains vague,” added the organisation.
Cefic called on national ministers and the European Commission to drive negotiations with the parliament to prepare a more balanced final package.
Negotiations will begin with foreign affairs ministers next week and environment ministers on October 20. The EU hopes to have a final agreement by the end of this year or the beginning of 2009.
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