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First proposals on ETS reform: ‘Lacking vision and real ambition’

-Press release-

CAN Europe: This ETS reform cares less about saving the climate than about protecting industry

[Brussels, 15 July 2015] Today the European Commission released their proposed changes to the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for after 2020. CAN Europe welcomes the timely release of the proposal but criticises the proposal’s lack of vision and leadership.

The ETS just turned ten years old but it has still not delivered on its goal to facilitate the transition towards a renewable and energy efficient economy. Because of very weak reduction targets a massive oversupply of pollution permits has accumulated. Carbon prices, once predicted to be around €30 hover now around €7, so low that they do nothing to cut emissions in Europe.

CAN Europe criticises that the ETS reform proposal tabled by the Commission does not address the failings of the ETS and if implemented would continue to delay climate action in Europe’s power and industrial sectors until 2030.  

“The proposal does not take into account that the EU Council explicitly decided that the EU should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by ‘at least’ 40% ” said Wendel Trio, director of CAN Europe. “Fixing the ETS would mean setting a more ambitious target and cancelling the 2.5 to 4.5 billion surplus allowances that will have accumulated by 2020. This would ensure that the EU’s climate targets are met by actual emission reductions rather than with left over surplus.”

CAN Europe also criticises that the proposal perpetuates industry handouts instead of prioritizing climate protection. The ETS is supposed to make polluters pay, but instead it has been paying the polluters. The generous exemptions in the form of free pollution permits have led to windfall profits for large energy intensive companies on the backs of EU citizens.

The current proposal does not stop industry handouts but will hand out over 6 billion free pollution permits from 2021-2030, worth €80-200 billion. This despite the fact that the Commission itself has repeatedly stated that there is no evidence for carbon leakage. Instead of subsidizing carbon pollution, the money should be used to fund more emission cuts and to support adaptation to an already changing climate. 

The ETS reform is an opportunity for the EU to restore its leadership in climate action. Requiring that part of the ETS revenues are used for climate protection in poor countries would help overcome roadblocks to a meaningful international climate agreement in Paris this December,” said Wendel Trio.

CAN Europe is calling on EU Member States and the Members of the European Parliament to push for reforms that would turn the ETS from a paper tiger into a strong climate protection instrument that helps the EU deliver on its long term climate goals.

Background

The legislative proposal implements the Council Conclusion from October 2014 on the 2030 Climate and Energy package. The proposal includes:

  • Implementation of the 43% reduction target for the ETS sectors.
  • New rules on free allocation of ETS pollution permits to address carbon leakage. (Carbon leakage occurs when a company moves outside of the EU because of the ETS to a country that does not charge for climate pollution.)
  • Implementation of the funds that aim to help finance low-carbon technologies, including the Innovation Fund (currently called NER300) and the new Modernization Fund.

The ETS reform proposal is part of the Commission's 'summer package'. For an assessment of the Energy Labelling Directive reform, please check out this blog

Contact

Anja Kollmuss, EU ETS policy coordinator at CAN Europe, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +41 77 485 3667 

Joop Hazenberg, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +32 496 70 36 38

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 30 European countries - representing over 44 million citizens - CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe

European Parliament in favour of ETS reform tool

Brussels, 8 July 2015 - Today the European Parliament adopted the Market Stability Reserve (MSR), which will temporarily remove some of the gigantic surplus of pollution permits in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

CAN Europe welcomes the vote as a positive step but stresses that what needs to follow are much more significant revisions to make the ETS an effective climate policy. Next week, the European Commission is expected to release their proposal for an ETS reform for after 2020.

Anja Kollmuss, EU ETS Policy Coordinator at CAN Europe said: “Today’s vote is a welcome step. But to turn the ETS from a paper tiger into a tool that helps Europe cut its addiction to fossil fuel it needs substantial reforms. These include the permanent removal of the billions of excess pollution permits. It is also crucial that industry hand-outs stop that the money is instead invested in climate protection in Europe and in poorer nations.”

The MSR in more detail:

-the MSR will start on January 1st 2019, with 8% of surplus transferred in 2019 and 12% from 2020 onwards
-900 million back-loaded allowances will be put directly in the reserve
-around 750 million unallocated allowances will be placed in the reserve, but what will ultimately happen to them will be decided in the upcoming ETS review. Options are to cancel them or to use them to address carbon leakage
-wealthier member states have agreed that up until 2025 they will contribute more allowances to the reserve to facilitate an agreement with some poorer countries that had resisted an earlier start date. This means three clusters of allowances are excluded from the MSR: phase 3 solidarity and growth allowances, the phase 4 modernisation fund, and the phase 4 solidarity, growth and interconnection allowances. This will result in a redistribution of around 14 million pollution permits from wealthier Member States to poorer ones.

 


Contact

Anja Kollmuss, EU ETS policy coordinator at CAN Europe,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +49 1 573 401 3307

Joop Hazenberg, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,+32 496 70 36 38

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 30 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe. CAN Europe represents 44 million citizens who support the work of its members.

Don’t cap renewables and efficiency

Call from renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmental associations

The European Council’s guidance from last year for 2030 targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency falls far short of the EU’s potentials.

Without tapping those potentials, the EU will miss out on major benefits for the economy, employment, energy security and climate action. Ending the historic bias towards fossil fuels requires higher ambition on energy efficiency and renewables.

Renewables are already the fastest growing power source around the world. The renewables industry had already created 1.2 million direct and indirect jobs by 2012 and could represent as many as 3.4 million jobs in 2030 in the EU [1]. Like European Commissioner President Jean-Claude Juncker, we want Europe to become the world number one in renewable energies.

Meanwhile, tapping the EU's cost-effective potential for energy efficiency, which stands at 40% by 2030,would cut gas imports by 40%, increase GDP by 4.45% [2] and – coupled with more renewables – allow Europe to deliver well beyond 50% greenhouse gas emissions cuts in 2030 [3].

Europe can’t afford to miss out on these benefits.

That is why upcoming EU legislation must be used to meet the full potentials of renewables and efficiency. Policymakers must recognise that the energy efficiency first principle and renewable energy are complementary to each other and will reduce energy costs for consumers and businesses. Both are needed to ensure a secure and sustainable energy future in line with the EU’s long-term climate commitments.

We mustn’t cap potential.

 

Notes

[1] Ragwitz et al (2009). EmployRES: The impact of renewable energy policy on economic growth and employment in the EU, FraunhoferISl, Munich.
[2] European Commission, Energy Efficiency Communication – impact assessment, 2014
[3] Ecofys,The EU Parliament’s 2030 resolution could achieve emissions reductions of up to 54%, 2014

 

List of suporters:


The Coalition for Energy Savings:

The Coalition for Energy Savings brings together business, professionals, local authorities, trade unions and civil society associations. The Coalition’s purpose is to make the case for a European energy policy that places a much greater, more meaningful emphasis on energy efficiency and savings. Coalition members represent more than 400 associations, 150 companies, 15 million supporters, more than 2 million employees, 1,000 cities and towns in 30 countries in Europe.
http://energycoalition.eu/members

The Renewable Energy Associations:
European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC)
European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA)
European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF)
European Wind Energy Association (EWEA)
Ocean Energy Europe

Climate and Environment NGOs:
Climate Action Network Europe and its members and partners, including:
-European Environmental Bureau
-Friends of the Earth Europe
-Greenpeace EU unit
-WWF European Policy Office
European Environmental Citizens Organisation for Standardisation (ECOS)
Food & Water Europe

NGOs call for strong EU policies to beat the 2030 renewable energy target

Europe must translate renewable energy ambition into law to maintain leadership

[Brussels, 15.06.2015] Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Greenpeace and WWF today called on the European Commission to propose a strong set of policies to ensure all countries contribute to delivering and surpassing the EU’s 2030 renewable energy target.

The call comes as the NGOs publish their overall recommendations for 2030 renewable energy policies and measures [1], based on research by Ecofys [2]. The recommendations come ahead of the EU Sustainable Energy Week stakeholder discussions on the energy governance on 16-18th June, and as Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič conducts an ‘Energy Union tour’ where energy governance will also be debated with national stakeholders.

WWF senior policy officer for renewable energy Imke Lübbeke said: “Europe’s success on renewables has been driven by binding national renewable energy targets. In their possible absence, it will be crucial that an enforceable framework will continue to boost the growth of renewable energy in the EU.”

“The Commission should set indicative national targets for member state governments” CAN Europe renewable policy coordinator Jean-François Fauconnier added. “They would guide national policies to meet and beat their targets for renewable energy.”

Greenpeace EU energy policy adviser Tara Connolly concluded: “A strong and legally binding set of 2030 renewable energy policies is the only way to maintain investor confidence and ensure Europe goes far beyond its unambitious 2030 renewables target.”

The European Commission is currently considering policies to meet the 2030 renewable energy target as part of the EU’s new energy governance framework. EU leaders agreed to scrap binding national renewable energy targets and replace them with a governance framework as part of the deal on 2030 climate and energy targets in October 2014. The deal included agreement on a target for renewable energy to deliver at least 27 percent of Europe’s energy in 2030.

Contact
Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +32 494 525 738

Notes
[1] CAN Europe, Greenpeace, WWF, “Effective governance for the EU 2030 renewable energy target - NGO policy recommendations” here.
[2] Available upon request.

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 30 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe. CAN Europe represents 44 million citizens who support the work of its members.

Serbia’s climate action plan undermines prospects of its EU accession

Kolubara A Thermal Power Plant[Brussels, 11.06.2015] Today Serbia has announced its contribution to the Paris climate agreement. The emission reduction the country is planning to achieve are far below the EU’s target. According to Climate Action Network Europe, this undermines prospects of Serbia’s EU accession.

Serbia is the first Balkan country to publish its contribution to the Paris agreement. Today’s announcement happens on the occasion of the EU-Serbia High Level Conference on Climate Change in Belgrade, attended by Vice-President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič.

According to Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, it is a welcome step forward that Serbia, for the first time in its history, decided to take action to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. This is a direct result of the momentum that is building up towards the Paris Climate Summit, where most countries of the world will present their initial plans to reduce carbon pollution. Unfortunately, as in case of many other countries, Serbia's commitment falls well below of what is needed to avert dangerous climate change.

The pledge announced today has extremely low ambition. Serbia’s target for 2030 is to decrease emissions by 9.8% compared to the 1990 levels. Serbia is one of the most advanced EU candidate countries. According to Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, this means that it needs to submit a pledge that is in line with the EU 2030 target of at least 40% reduction compared to 1990. Even while decisions on how the effort will be shared among the different EU Member States, preliminary calculations indicate that all EU Member States, including the poorest, will have to reduce their emissions by at least 25% by 2030 compared to 1990.

As Serbia plans to become a member of the EU well before 2030, its climate and energy policies should take into account the EU climate targets. The climate pledge announced today clearly shows lack of true commitment to the EU integration among current leaders of the country - Dragana Mileusnic, Energy policy coordinator for South East Europe at Climate Action Network Europe said. The government has yet again demonstrated its short-sightedness. Serbia will miss the opportunity to reap the co-benefits of ambitious climate action in a form of green jobs, better health of its citizens and reduction of energy imports.

Furthermore, the inventory data which the pledge is based on is questionable. Due to Kosovo’s declaration of independence, emissions in 1990 and in 2030 might have been calculated for a different geographical range. Since Kosovo’s energy mix is based on coal, significant share of Serbia’s planned emission reduction might have already been achieved by the pure fact that coal power plants in Kosovo are no longer located on its territory. This would make Serbia’s target irrelevant.

Serbia’s energy policy is currently at a crossroads, as the country plans a wave of new coal investments, and at the same time struggles to move closer to the EU environmental and climate standards.

Contact

Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +32 494 525 738

Notes

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 30 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe. CAN Europe represents 44 million citizens who support the work of its members.

Media contact

   Ania Drazkiewicz
   Communications Coordinator
   Direct line: +32 2894 4675
   Email: ania/at/caneurope.org

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