InterviewEurope chemicals could face higher carbon fees - Cefic

25 August 2011 12:28  [Source: ICIS news]

By Will Beacham

Europe chems may face high carbon permit charges - CeficLONDON (ICIS)--European chemical companies could be hit by excessively high charges for carbon permits if financial speculators are allowed to distort the EU’s Emission Trading System (ETS), trade group Cefic said on Thursday.

There is a danger that speculators could distort the market for Emissions Trading Permits which must be purchased by industrial consumers of energy, including the chemical sector, from 2013, according to Cefic's director general Hubert Mandery.

Mandery said he is still waiting for guarantees from European Commission officials that the market will be adequately supervised.

“Our companies have to buy the certificates just to produce. This is quite a different role to an intermediary or speculator. I’m not assured about this – we need to see robust supervision of the ETS system.”

He added: “ETS was designed as a way to reduce CO2 emissions and we do need financial intermediaries to trade for small-to-medium sized enterprises. But we don’t want financial operators to distort the market.”

Under the next phase of ETS, the top 10% most efficient chemical plants will be exempt from the need to purchase permits. Operators of all other facilities will need to purchase permits if they want to continue operating.

According to Pierre de Kettenis, Cefic’s executive director for petrochemistry, the benchmarking process was completed last year.

National authorities responsible for policing ETS are currently visiting plants and making allocation plans.

By: Will Beacham
+44 20 8652 3214

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