Europe divides on expanding carbon market

The European Union (EU) wants to be at the forefront of the fight against global warming, and it is true that it is, for the moment, ahead of other continents. After signing the 2015 Paris Agreement, it set in stone, at the end of sometimes Homeric debates between the Twenty-Seven, its objective of achieving carbon neutrality in 2050 and, to achieve this, of reducing at least 55% of its CO emissions2 by 2030 (compared to 1990). It is now a question of giving substance to this ambition – around fifty legislative texts will have to be adopted – and, given the interests at stake – economic and social -, it will not be easy.

One of the most virulent fights that lie ahead between Europeans concerns the new carbon market for the suppliers of fuels and fuels to road transport and buildings (heating and cooling), which the Commission has proposed to create from 2026. Its implementation will directly affect consumers at the wallet, at the pump or on their electricity bill, and some countries are already worried that in the four corners of the continent, “yellow vests” are expressing their anger .

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Faced with soaring prices, the Commission opens the door to a reform of the European energy market

There is already a carbon market (Emissions Trading System, ETS) within the EU. But this only concerns the most polluting industries, which are responsible for 40% of CO emissions.2. Since 2005, electricity producers, commercial aviation within the EU and energy-intensive industries such as oil refineries, steel and cement have been purchasing CO quotas there.2, which are rights to pollute, under the polluter pays principle. But, so far, it has not fully proven itself. “Only the electricity sector has started its decarbonisation, the others, who benefit from free allowances, have not really been encouraged to do so”, estimates Geneviève Pons, director general of the think tank Europe-Jacques Delors, in Brussels.

“Berlin is committed to protecting its industry”

Today, the Commission wants to move up a gear and presented its battle plan on July 14, which has yet to be negotiated with the European Parliament and the Member States. It first proposes to include in the current ETS the maritime sector and to put this market under tension – from 2023, the number of permits to pollute and of free quotas will be gradually reduced -, in order to increase the price. per ton of CO2 and encourage manufacturers to make their transition. At the same time, it considers it necessary to set up a second carbon market, adapted to the building and transport sectors. “Buildings account for 40% of energy consumption and road transport emissions continue to swell, we must reverse the trend at all costs”, explained, on several occasions, Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the Commission.

You have 64.69% of this article left to read. The rest is for subscribers only.

source site