A vote by MEPs to hold back carbon credits from the EU’s emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) has been criticised as “wrong” and “just a sticking plaster” by a British steel trade association.
Ian Rodgers, Director of UK Steel claimed the backloading measure will do “little” to get the changes in place that are needed.
He said: “If anything, it will be counter-productive because interfering with the market sends the wrong signals… [The ETS] is not working on several levels, including for Energy Intensive Industries…
“The Parliament not only took the wrong decision on the fundamental question of backloading, but also rejected an amendment which would have provided much needed support for industries, including steel, that face significant barriers to reduce emissions,” he added.
The steel boss said he hoped Member States will “see sense and block” these backloading proposals.
However others said the EU’s emissions trading system had been rescued by MEPs. The hope was that restricting carbon allowances to the oversaturated market would push up their prices and they did rise marginally yesterday after the announcement.
UK ministers also hailed the move, with Energy Secretary Ed Davey declaring it was a “good decision”, adding: “We need a stable carbon market so we get a more certainty for investors so emissions reductions can be achieved at the lowest cost possible.”
But the celebration was limited for campaigners who wanted more action.
Sam Van den Plas of WWF’s European Policy Office said the European Parliament has done “the minimum” to rescue the ETS from “redundancy”.
Finnish energy firm Fortum also thought “a more profound renovation” of emissions trading is needed. Its chief financial officer Markus Rauramo said: “The carbon market has to be strengthened by setting an emissions reduction target for 2030 and by introducing [for example] an allowance supply adjustment mechanism”.
Elsewhere Labour MP Luciana Berger (@lucianaberger) expressed her disdain for Conservative MEPs, tweeting: “Just one of David Cameron’s Tory MEPs followed his policy and voted to support the world’s biggest carbon market today #outofcontrol #EUETS”.