Commission Repeats Calls For Carbon Market Reform As Surplus Allowances Double

The number of surplus carbon permits under the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) doubled to two billion last year, the European Commission has announced. 21 May 2013 Topics Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said that the figures for 2012 underlined the need for urgent action to address the “supply-demand imbalance” under the struggling scheme. “The good news is that emissions declined again in 2012,” she said. “The bad news is that the supply-demand imbalance has further worsened in large part due to a record use of international credits.” “At the start of phase 3, we see a surplus of almost two billion allowances. These facts underline the need for the European Parliament and Council to act swiftly on back-loading,” she said. The European Parliament rejected a proposal by the European Commission to ‘backload’ a number of allowances under the scheme , as a temporary measure to address falling prices and lack of demand, last month. The proposal will be refined by the Parliament’s Environmental Committee, before returning to Parliament for a new vote next month. The EU ETS was established in 2005 and was the first major emissions trading scheme in the world. Phase 3 began on 1 January 2013, and runs until 2020. Under the scheme there is a cap on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from prescribed energy intensive installations. Installations must purchase GHG emissions allowances, called European Union Allowances (EUAs), which represent the right to emit or discharge a specific volume of emissions in line with national allocation plans. Operators of installations must hold EUAs equal to, or more than, total emissions at the end of the EU ETS year and those with excess allowances can ‘bank’ them or trade with those who need to buy more allowances to comply with emissions limits. The European Commission’s proposals would see 900 million allowances that would otherwise have been made available for auction between 2013 and 2015 transferred to later in the third phase of the EU ETS. By doing this, the Commission hopes to address the build-up in allowances caused by reduced industrial activity during the economic downturn. The price of allowances is currently below €4 per tonne according to Thomson Reuters Point Carbon – well below a historical average of €30 per tonne. According to the Commission’s figures, the number of surplus allowances rose from around 950 million at the end of 2011 to almost two billion by the end of 2012. This was due to a “combination” of the use of international credits, auctioned allowances from earlier phases of the scheme and remaining free allowances granted to new entrants to the scheme. Since 2008, the EU ETS has allowed installations to use international emissions reduction credits generated under the Kyoto Protocol to offset part of their emissions. Compliance with the rules of the scheme was “high” in 2012, according to the Commission. Less than 1% of participating installations did not surrender allowances to cover their 2012 emissions by the deadline of 30 April 2013, while aircraft operators responsible for over 98% of 2012’s aviation emissions had also fulfilled their responsibilities under the scheme. This year, aviation emissions fell under the EU ETS for the first time; however aircraft operators were given the option to limit reporting to only those flights within Europe. Environmental law expert Eluned Watson of Pinsent Masons said previously that backloading was merely a “quick fix” for the EU ETS, but that more time would be needed to put together a longer term reform package. ” Urgent action is required, backed by clear legislative support, to structurally reform the EU ETS and to rebalance the supply and demand of allowances in the EU ETS market, ” she said, as prices fell to a record low of €2.81 a tonne at the start of this year. “Although the backloading proposal is very much a ‘quick fix’, reactionary measure, it is clear that longer term structural reform will take time, with changes unlikely to be in place until 2017 at the earliest,” she said. Taylor Scott International

This entry was posted in Investment, investments, News, Property, Shows, Taylor Scott International, TSI, Uk and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.