17 May 2013 17:08 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European trade group Cefic called for more competitive EU energy prices and a more coherent EU energy policy in a letter to European Council president Herman von Rompuy on Friday.
It also seeks more encouragement for the exploitation of shale gas in the EU.
The letter was sent ahead of a key European Council energy and climate policy debate on 22 May. The European Council, which includes EU heads of states, is charged with defining the general political direction and priorities of the EU.
The letter warns of the risks to the chemical industry of further increases in EU energy prices. They could lead to “a vicious cycle in which higher prices lead to reduced competitiveness and inhibit investment,” Cefic present Kurt Bock says.
“What matters most is the overall energy cost situation, including the availability of conventional and unconventional energy sources, and sometimes conflicting EU and national energy and climate policies.”
Chemical producers in Europe have become increasingly concerned about energy costs driven higher by national and EU-wide greenhouse gas emission goals. Producers in Germany, among them the largest in the EU, have voiced particular concern about plans to abandon nuclear power following the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
Cefic has published an energy roadmap which looks at the impact on the industry of different energy and climate change policy scenarios in the 2030-2050 timeframe. It presented some of the findings of the report at a European Business Summit meeting in Brussels on Thursday.
Cefic outlines steps towards more competitive EU energy prices in its letter to Van Rompuy which include better energy and climate change policy coordination across the EU; the avoidance of “high-cost” national approaches to renewables; and a reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) “but in ways that would not require EU economies to pay twice for reduced emission, as would be the case with ‘backloading’ or ‘set aside’ allowances".
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