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Impact of 35% to 45% 2030 carbon cuts likely in January

28 Oct 2013 16:31:35 | edcm

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The European Commission is analysing the feasibility of cutting the bloc’s domestic carbon emissions by 35%, 40% and 45% by 2030 compared with 1990 levels and is likely to publish its findings in January 2014, said EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard on Monday.

The commission received input this year from EU countries and stakeholders in a public consultation on how many, what type and what levels of energy and climate targets should be set for 2030, and planned to come up with a proposal on the issue by the end of 2013. EU leaders are then to discuss the framework at their spring summit in March 2014.

Speaking at the European Green Growth Summit in Brussels, Hedegaard added that an impact assessment on the 2030 framework is now most likely to come in January, a spokesman confirmed.

She added that if a proposal will not come before the current commission is dissolved, businesses will have uncertainty for a long time. “EU must not miss the March 2014 Council to give businesses long-term certainty. If not, it will take years to have it,” the commissioner added on Twitter.

The comments came as some 13 EU countries among the Green Growth Group – an informal grouping of some European energy, environment and climate ministers including the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy – listed as a priority giving to the private sector post-2020 policy certainty. “This means agreeing an ambitious target-based post-2020 EU energy and climate policy framework soon,” they said in a statement on Monday.

Earlier this year the Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change – grouping some 80 investors with significant investment in the European power and industrial sectors, including trading houses and pension funds – expressed concerns that the post-2020 framework might come only in 2015 or beyond. “This is ‘yesterday’ from an infrastructure investment perspective. Energy infrastructure projects require several years to plan and operate for decades. The shorter the time horizon over which there is policy certainty, the stronger the incentive for investors to defer investment,” they said in response to the consultation on the 2030 targets.

The EU spokesman said that it’s too early to detail the expected time line of the approval process for the framework. The commission is considering whether publishing a formal 2030 formal proposal together with the impact assessment, he said. The time line will depend on the format of the proposal – whether it will be legislative or non-legislative.

The Green Growth Group also called for reforming the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) to further incentivise low-carbon investments.

The commission intends to come up by end of the year with a proposal to stabilise during phase III the supply/demand imbalance which is heavily weighing on carbon prices. Silvia Molteni

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