Committee moves to protect emissions trading
The European Parliament has sent a strong signal that the price of carbon emissions must be raised by fixing the Emissions Trading System (ETS) - one of the EU's key laws on climate change.
The Parliament's Environment Committee voted in favour of withholding carbon allowances in the ETS - a move that would increase the carbon price if it was adopted.
The economic crisis has reduced industrial production and therefore emissions, flooding the carbon market with free emission allowances and causing the price to collapse.
"It is good to see the Parliament finally recognise that the economic crisis has severely compromised the efficiency of the ETS to reduce emissions. It is even better to see the Parliament propose solutions to fix it!" Rémi Gruet, EWEA's senior climate advisor said.
"These measures must now be urgently implemented. Global competition in renewable energy technologies is getting fiercer and climate signals are one more message to investors that we should build on our existing technological lead. We call on MEPs to support the same line as the Environment Committee in the final vote in March" Gruet said.
Also this week, the European Commission published a paper analysing the impact on individual EU countries of a move to a 30 per cent carbon cutting target by 2020. The paper concludes that lower income EU countries could benefit the most from moving to 30 per cent mainly by increasing national revenue from the ETS by as much as 80 per cent.