International Emissions Trading Association defends cancelled call with European Commission
The International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) has said it "does not and will not try to extract market-sensitive, privileged information for the benefit of its members", after a conference call with the Commission on possible policies to support carbon prices was cancelled.
IETA had organised the call with Peter Zapfel of the Climate Commission's policy co-ordination unit to seek clarification on last week's announcement that the Commission would bring forward a report in one year on the functioning of the emissions trading system (ETS) (see EDCM 19 April 2012).
But the discussion was cancelled following press reports that informationcould be disclosed to which non-IETA market participants would not be privy.
The cancelled call was only about the report the Commission is bringing forward, about which there has been someconfusion, Simone Ruiz, EU policy director at IETA, said in a statement on Thursday.
The call was not going to be about changes to the auction plans or a set-aside of allowances, she added in an email to ICIS on Friday.
"There was some confusion as to what exactly the Commission is planning: reviewing the EU ETS, opening up the Directive, changing the cap?" Ruiz said. "The Commission will be criticised if they do not speak to stakeholders, to hear what they have to say," she warned.
The Commission declined to comment on the cancellation of the call.
Control of the market
Meetings between the EU policy-makers and various industry lobby groups are common practice.
But one carbon trader at a non-IETA firm said the case of emissions is different because of the level of control the Commission exerts over the carbon market.
"What if they do something new with [certified emission reductions (CERs)] and I don't know? I have them in my portfolio, and the price crashes before I even know, and when I find out [why], it will be that people in IETA found out before me," the trader said.
However, a second trader at a bank that is an IETA member said that in practice he would not have been party to the briefing or immediately made aware of what was said.
Ruiz added: "If non-IETA members want to voice their frustration on policy processes, the best thing to do is to join this association. But they should not expect any market-sensitive information to come from that." VF
A NON-IETA TRADER'S OBJECTIONS TO IETA-COMMISSION TALKS
"If the Commission [has] something to say, say it to the whole community, not just IETA - not certain people only. The market is losing confidence. They have already lost a lot, and now it's even worse - [news of the aborted IETA meeting] is undermining their credibility. If the [Commission] gives news that might change the market, that's a problem for us, especially in a [unique] market: supply and demand is 100% controlled by the Commission. That's the big difference. I can't erase the necessity for aluminium. I can erase the necessity for CERs." VF
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