German utilities lobby BDEW backs EU carbon backloading plan
London (Platts)--26Feb2013/823 am EST/1323 GMT
German utility lobby group BDEW is supporting the EC's backloading plan
as a one-off intervention to fix the current supply-glut in the EU emissions
trading system and called upon the German government to launch a discussion
about binding EU emissions targets for 2030.
"A one-off reduction in CO2-emissions certificates, as agreed last week
by the relevant committee in the EU parliament, is a useful measure,
considering the continued decline in prices," BDEW managing director
Hildegard Mueller said Tuesday at a renewables conference in Berlin.
"However, constant interventions threaten investment," he said,
according to a statement by the BDEW. BDEW represents companies responsible
for 90% of electricity sales in Germany.
"We need a fundamental reform of the CO2 certificates trading," said
Mueller. "It is therefore time to have a discussion about ambitious and
binding targets for EU-wide carbon emissions cuts for 2030."
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According to the BDEW, the time frame until 2020 is already too short
for many investment decisions to be made by energy companies, while the time
frame to 2050, outlined in the broader EU climate road map is too long for
many investment decisions.
"Therefore, a binding emissions reduction target for 2030 should be set
as an intermediate target. Only such a reliable framework will trigger the
investment needed to achieve the climate change objectives," said Mueller,
who was a minister in Chancellor Merkel's government from 2005-08.
Last week, the environment committee of the European Parliament (ENVI)
adopted the European Commission's proposal to amend the emissions trading
system. Accordingly, the Commission would be given the opportunity to hold
back once a total of 900 million allowances over the 2013-15 period and to
re-inject this back into the market in 2019-20.
However, the backloading plan still needs the approval of the full
European Parliament, before it goes to the member states in the Council for
final approval, where Germany's position will be key.
The German government has not decided yet on its position with the
environment minister reportedly in favor of the plan and the economy ministry
against the proposal.
"A permanent stabilization of carbon prices would also dampen the costs
for renewable energy," BDEW's Mueller said, referring to a current discussion
in Germany about spiraling household electricity prices due to the increased
costs for renewable power, which now contributes almost a quarter to German
Germany's environment and economy ministers agreed earlier this month to
freeze the renewable power surcharge paid by consumers for the coming two
years. The bill is planned to be introduced in August before Germany will
vote for a new parliament and government in September.
--Andreas Franke, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Martin O'Rourke, email@example.com