EU member states abuse Emissions Trading System | WWF

EU member states abuse Emissions Trading System

Posted on 15 May 2006
The Kyoto Protocol is the world's only international agreement to reduce CO2 emissions, the main greenhouse gas responsible for climate change and global warming.
© WWF / Tanya Petersen
Brussels, Belgium – European governments are guilty of allowing their industries to produce as much carbon dioxide as they wish at no cost, according to WWf and other environmental organizations

As the European Commission releases the data on emissions of installations covered by the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), evidence from the markets proves that most Member States granted their industries far too generous carbon emission allowances in the period 2005–07.

The European Commission and Member States must ensure that the total available pollution permits are significantly reduced for the second round of trading, from 2008 to 2012.

“European governments have blatantly ignored the aims behind the ETS and abused the trading scheme, under pressure from their dirty industries,’’ said Matthias Duwe, Director of CAN-Europe.

"This stalls the EU’s flagship climate policy. Governments need to grab control of the wheel and steer a clear path to emission reductions."

Figures show that the actual emissions of installations covered by the ETS in 2005 were several million tonnes below the granted permits. Data from Member States such as Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Lithuania show that generous emission allowances granted to companies are causing the decline in carbon prices and distorting the market. This also reduces the credibility of the emissions trading scheme.

“The market can only become functional and create incentives for cleaner industries if the amount of allowances is set at a level which is in line with the Kyoto targets, allowing Europe to meet its international obligations,” said Stephan Singer, Head of WWF's European Climate and Energy Unit.

“A loss of credibility of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme will also undermine the credibility of the EU in the negotiations for new Kyoto targets after 2012.”

European environmental NGOs, including WWF, are calling on Member States to improve their National Allocation Plans for the second phase, with stringent caps as well as credible and transparent allocation rules. Member States should make use of auctioning to the 10 per cent maximum allowed and create a clear link between allocations and cleaner production (“product specific benchmarks”). The European Commission should reject all NAPs without ambitious emission caps.

For more information:
Stephan Singer, Head of European Climate and Energy Policy Unit
WWF European Policy Office
Tel: +32 2 743 88 17
Mobile: +32 496 550709

Matthias Duwe, Director
Climate Action Network Europe
Tel: + 49 176 2052596

Mahi Sideridou, Director, Climate & Energy Unit
Greenpeace European Unit
Mobile: + 32 496 122094

Jan Kowalzig, Climate Campaign
Friends of the Earth Europe
Tel: +32 2 5426102

The Kyoto Protocol is the world's only international agreement to reduce CO2 emissions, the main greenhouse gas responsible for climate change and global warming.
© WWF / Tanya Petersen Enlarge