Germany trade group slams EU parliament move to curb CO2 permits

15 March 2012 15:24  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s chemical producers' trade group on Thursday criticised a European Parliament resolution that could lead to a reduction of available carbon dioxide (CO2) permits.

The parliament, in a non-binding resolution adopted on Thursday, said that in order to further cut CO2 emissions the EU should improve its Emissions Trading System (ETS) through measures such as “a possible set aside of pollution permits.”

Frankfurt-based Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) said that a reduction of CO2 permits would hike the permit’s prices, at the expense of chemicals and other industrial producers.

VCI general manager Utz Tillmann said that the EU’s plan for a low-carbon emission economy could only be realised through investment in research and innovative products.

The EU’s intervention in the ETS market, however, would deprive industry of the very funds needed to invest in climate friendly products and processes, Tillmann said.

The EU was starting its roadmap towards lower CO2 emissions with measures typical of a top-down planned economy, rather than implementing it in the most efficient way possible, he added.

The Commission's "Roadmap for moving to a low-carbon economy" sets a policy framework to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030, 60% by 2040 and 80% by 2050.

The parliament has repeatedly called for the EU's 20% emissions reduction target for 2020 to be increased. A higher short-term emissions reduction target would be more cost-efficient in the long-run, the parliament has argued.

The parliament, in its resolution on Thursday, also said that legislation to include emissions from the aviation sector in the ETS should be implemented in full. That legislation has prompted sharp criticism from countries outside the EU, whose aviation industries would be affected.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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