This week TheCompensators* attended the Florence School of Regulation Forum 2013 in Brussels. Here is our report from Europe’s capital:
At the FSR Forum 2013, European Commissioner for Climate action Connie Hedegaard gave an insight into the European Commission’s plans concerning climate action in general and the ETS in particular. Hedegaard announced that the European Commission will publish its proposal on 2030 climate action targets on January 21st 2014. In March, the EU heads of state will consider the proposal to make it the basis for the EU’s position at a UN leaders’ climate summit in September 2014 and also at the 2015 COP in Paris.
A reformed ETS for a better future
Hedegaard argued that the ETS works. She considers the low prices to be a result of the economic crisis and therefore a natural phenomenon that does not call into question the system as such. Jon Delbeke, Director-General of the DG Climate Action, added that the ETS will be a central pillar of the European Commission’s proposal for 2030 climate action targets. A structural reform of the ETS is likely to become part of the 2030-targets proposal. Different options are on the table: a linear reduction factor, permanent cancellation of excess allowances or an automatism linking the ETS to demand for allowances.
Opposing some industry claims, Hedegaard emphasized that there is no empirical evidence that the ETS is causing job losses in Europe. On the contrary, low carbon and environmental technologies are, besides health and ICT, the most promising sectors in the EU in terms of creating new jobs. In addition, Europe must be careful not to give away its front runner position on low carbon technologies since other countries are increasing their efforts in this sector.
TheCompensators* welcome the European Commission’s efforts for 2030 climate action targets and the plans to improve the ETS. We call on the European Commission to rigorously tackle the structural problems of the current design and to extend the ETS to more industry sectors. While the last word about the ETS has not yet been said, all of us can act already today – by buying and deleting ETS CO2 allowances via TheCompensators*!