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EU wants to auction CO₂ certificates faster: "It's about surviving the winter"


The EU wants to auction off emission certificates more quickly in order to depress the price of carbon. This should relieve the economy – and benefit the environment in the medium term.

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Brown coal power plant Neurath in NRW

Photo: Rupert Oberhäuser / IMAGO

European emissions trading is the central instrument of Brussels climate policy.

In an electronic exchange system, brokers determine the price that an industrial company or power plant operator has to pay to emit a ton of CO₂ into the atmosphere.

And because this price has risen from around 20 euros to almost 70 euros over the past two years, industry and power plants are using less and less coal.

According to the EU Commission's Green Deal, by 2050 not a single gram of carbon should be emitted on the continent.

Now the European Parliament (EP) wants to use the system in the energy war with Russia - and temporarily put it into reverse gear.

In order to put more coal-fired power plants into operation again and raise money for the expansion of European electricity and gas lines, the environmental politicians want to throw significantly more certificates on the market in the next few years than previously planned.

That would depress the CO₂ price and bring in around 20 billion euros for the EU.

The international community wants to use the money to make itself less dependent on Russian energy.

»Ensure that companies do not go bankrupt en masse«

On Monday, the responsible parliamentary committee agreed to tighten up a corresponding plan by the EU Commission.

The Brussels authorities had proposed auctioning off the certificates within the next four years so that CO₂ prices do not fall too much.

MEPs, on the other hand, want to shorten the period to three years in order to relieve the economy as comprehensively as possible.

"It's now a matter of surviving the winter and making sure that masses of companies don't go bankrupt," says CDU environmental politician Peter Liese.

At the same time, MEPs want to ensure that the certificates are fully returned to the system before 2030.

In this way, they want to ensure that the CO₂ price will rise again in the next few years and that the international community will meet its climate targets.

The Commission "wanted to emit 250 million tons more CO₂", criticizes the Green environmental politician Michael Bloss.

The environment committee put a stop to that.

"We prefer certificates, but don't flood the market with new ones," he says.

The EU is daring to experiment with it.

So far, emissions trading was only intended to protect the climate.

Now he should help to stimulate the economy.

For environmental politicians Liese, this is a revolution in climate protection, but with a manageable risk.

"Everyone who can save fossil fuels" is doing so "currently of their own accord" because of the high energy prices.

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-09-27

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