A recent study confirms TheCompensators* criticism of the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). For a whole host of large industrial enterprises, which count among the largest polluters in Germany, emissions trading serves as a lucrative source of income instead of obliging them to protect our climate.
In a study entitled “Carbon Fatcats” (English version, you will find a more up to date German version here), our British partner organisation Sandbag, the German environmental organisation BUND and Germanwatch proves that considerably too many emissions certificates are distributed to large enterprises – for free. Companies such as Arcelor, Mittal, ThyssenKrupp, Salzgitter and BASF have particularly benefitted from this situation. According to the study, they received a surplus of than 60 million tonnes of CO2 for their sites in Germany alone. This amounts to a value of currently around € 782 million – and allows these companies to make large additional gains by selling those emissions rights.
The study shows that the emissions trading scheme, which in itself is a very useful tool to reduce emissions, needs to be improved urgently. Otherwise the goals set for the system for climate protection will never be reached!
Politicians – i.e. the European Commission and its member states – therefore must act! The number of allocated emissions certificates must be reduced significantly so that emissions will really start drop. Furthermore, certificates must not be handed out for free – companies must pay for the right to pollute.
And what is more, every individual can play an active role and compensate her/his emissions! Buying and deleting emissions certificates via TheCompensators* reduces the number of pollution rights which are available to companies. At the same time every deleted certificate is a political voice for a better emissions trading scheme.