Nine EU environment ministers want the EU Commission’s post-2020 ETS reforms to include a tiered approach to free allocation for industry and a reduction in administrative burdens for companies, they said in a joint statement on Thursday.
The ministers from Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Estonia, Portugal, Slovenia, Norway, Italy and the UK, calling themselves the Green Growth Group, said:
“It is essential that the EU builds on past experiences and organises its carbon pricing regime appropriately. The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), the cornerstone of the EU’s low-carbon strategy, must provide the long-term, stable and effective low-carbon framework and strengthened price signal required by businesses and investors to drive the cost-effective low-carbon transition that Europe needs.”
The Commission is expected to publish its post-2020 ETS reform proposal on July 15, in line with detailed guidance from EU leaders agreed last October.
The ministers said the proposal should include:
- A system of focused support for those industrial sectors at greatest and genuine risk of carbon leakage, for example, through a tiered approach to the provision of free allowances and improved alignment to changing production levels, whilst minimising administrative burdens and maintaining incentives for industrial emissions reductions. Harmonised arrangements to compensate for indirect EU ETS costs incurred by the most electro-intensive industries should also be considered.
- Assistance to lower-income Central and Eastern European Member States with the transition to a safe and sustainable low-carbon economy through the new Modernisation Fund including a strong role for the European Investment Bank, and through a revised Article 10c, all in line with the EU’s 2030 and longer term climate and energy goals;
- Support for innovation in breakthrough low-carbon technologies through a new NER400, such as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), industrial innovation and efficiency and innovative renewables;
- A reduction in administrative burdens, especially for small ETS operators, whilst maintaining the overall environmental integrity of the EU ETS.
By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org