Support to a green Europe

Supporters of a strong European Emission Trading System (EU ETS) won a political victory today when the European Parliament voted on the modified backloading proposal. A victory that sends the important political signal that we want to decarbonise the European energy system and a green European future. However, the vote is only the first step. Now we have to take the next step and agree on ambitious 2030 targets and implement the long needed structural reform of the EU ETS so that the EU ETS again can become relevant for investors in low-carbon technologies, says Ulrich Bang, Director of International and EU affairs in the Danish Energy Association.

It was an important day for the EU ETS when members of the European Parliament voted on a modified backloading proposal to postpone the auctioning of 900 million CO2 allowances. With the votes 344 versus 311 the proposal to strengthen the EU ETS was adopted and sends an important green signal to all of Europe.  

-It’s a good day for all the companies, associations, unions and environmental organisations all over Europe who have worked to inform of the consequences of the proposal and the importance of the support to a continued and intensified work for a green and common European energy and climate policy. The adoption of the proposal shows that a clear political support to a strengthened EU ETS which together with other measures aimed at renewable energy and energy efficiency can stimulate investments in low-carbon technologies in the energy sector is crucial to a modernisation of the European energy system, says Ulrich Bang.

Following the adoption in parliament the EU Commission has a strong basis for formulating ambitious energy and climate targets for 2030 and the crucial and more fundamental proposal to reform the EU ETS as the Commission is expected to announce by the end of this year. The adoption of the backloading proposal in parliament means that companies and investors can better trust that the EU is still committed to decarbonise. But there is yet no fixed and stable framework for their investments which has been demanded by companies and investors across Europe and which is essential for investment in the green European energy sector.

-Today we compliment the support to a green Europe but tomorrow we continue our work to get specific legislative proposals from the EU Commission that can solve the fundamental structural problems that currently exist in the EU ETS. We need an increased allowance price in line with the 30 € which was the prerequisite for the current EU energy and climate policy but we also need a long-term and more stable price. The collapse that we have witnessed in the allowance price is toxic to investors and it is something that must be solved in the future. With today’s support the European Parliament has taken an important first step to decarbonise Europe but it is still only the first step, says Ulrich Bang.

Next step in the EU process is the negotiations with the member states which will not begin until after the German election in September. The implementation of the proposal is therefore not likely to happen until 2014. The proposal from the EU Commission on a 2030 package for energy and climate is expected by the end of 2013, most likely in November or December. The Commission’s proposal to a structural reform of the EU ETS is expected to be published simultaneously.