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Germany backs swift back-loading decision – environment minister

14 Oct 2013 17:52:38 | edcm

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Germany still wants a decision on back-loading this year, the country’s acting environment minister Peter Altmaier said on Monday, a comment analysts interpreted as bullish. While he stopped short of confirming Germany’s support for the measure, his comments boosted hopes that the country would no longer stand in the way of trilogue negotiations kicking off.

Parties involved in Germany’s future government coalition are “capable of acting” on a number of issues that are still being floated at EU level, “in particular back-loading”, he said at a videotaped press conference during a meeting of the Environment Council in Luxembourg. The country’s political parties are in coalition talks which could drag on for months, after the recent elections in September. He added that a mandate was needed to start trilogue negotiations with the European Parliament.

German carbon analyst firm Tschach Solutions, now part of ICIS, said the comments were bullish for the market and they signalled that a final adoption of the back-loading text could be achieved as soon as the December council meeting.

Altmaier also said the commission could present several options for structural change to the EU emission trading system before year-end.

Speaking more widely about EU climate policy, Altmaier also reiterated Germany’s support for multiple 2030 targets. While acknowledging opposition to renewable energy targets among some member states, particularly in eastern Europe, he spoke at length about the need for such a target. He did not mention an energy efficiency target, however, which Poland has previously backed.

Broadening the discussion to global climate negotiations, Altmaier said the upcoming summit in Warsaw in November offered a chance to “unblock” the discussions but admitted that Europe itself is still far from having unanimous agreement on a possible negotiation text. “I personally think the chances that we can agree are 50/50, maybe even a bit higher, let’s say a 60/40 chance, but I cannot predict it accurately; otherwise we wouldn’t have to negotiate.” Silvia Molteni and Marie Louise Du Bois

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