Tuesday

18th Dec 2018

Poland against quick rescue of emissions scheme

  • Coal is still a widely used energy source in Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries. (Photo: wikipedia)

A simmering disagrement between member states about when to start a market stability reserve for the bloc's struggling emissions trading system has been taken up a political notch by Poland.

Polish PM Ewa Kopacz has written to European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker asking that the market intervention mechanism only kick into place in 2021.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The letter, signed Wednesday 25 February, came the day after MEPs in the environment committee agreed the scheme should go into place two years earlier.

The letter was also signed by the leaders of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, and Romania.

The start date matters because the sooner the reserve starts operating, the sooner the carbon price is expected to rise. This will predominantly effect economies with many fossil-fuel reliant industries.

Poland, for example, is the member state most dependent on coal - the most heavily polluting fossil fuel - in the EU.

Meanwhile, countries less reliant on coal have been lobbying intensely to have the system begin in 2017. Environment ministers in Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, and UK urged for the earlier date in a joint letter.

The market mechanism, once in place, would temporarily take out permits from the carbon market, if a certain number of permits was reached. The market is currently suffering from a surplus which drives down prices.

Low carbon prices mean there is less incentive to look for low-carbon alternatives to fossil fuels.

Kopacz listed five potential consequence that she fears an early MSR introduction will have, including an "impact on electricity prices, ... influencing the budget revenues from the auctioning of emission allowances, ... [and] weaker competitiveness".

She accused the commission of failing to "specify the possible scale" of these problems combined with "placing backloaded allowances directly into the reserve”.

'Backloaded allowances' refers to a batch of 900 million permits that have been temporarily been put aside, but which under current rules must be put back into the market at some point.

Following the environment committee's vote, representative from the parliament, the council and the commission will try and thrash out a compromise.

Kopacz wrote that she "expects the European Commission would confirm its coherent position and in the end stick to its own proposal" with the commission itself having orignally suggested 2021.

News in Brief

  1. 3,500 UK troops on standby for no-deal Brexit
  2. Brexit: Opposition disagrees over no confidence vote
  3. EU court confirms suspension of Polish judges law
  4. France to tax Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon
  5. EU negotiators agree CO2 targets for cars
  6. May: Brexit vote will be week of 14 January
  7. Rome finds extra budget funds to fit EU demands
  8. Polish climate talks end in agreement on rulebook

Stakeholder

COP24 Nordic Pavilion: sharing climate solutions with the world

The Nordic Pavilion at COP24 is dedicated to dialogue – TalaNordic – about key themes regarding the transition to a low-carbon society, such as energy, transport, urban futures, the circular economy and green financing.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. Muscat's one-man rule poses challenge for EU
  2. Orban protests target state media in new front
  3. Brexit and the Queen Sacrifice
  4. EU gives Switzerland another six months for a deal
  5. Fiscal discipline rules in eurozone are devastating
  6. EU capitals see weekend of tear gas and water cannon
  7. Bulgarian 'EU passports' whistleblower wants justice
  8. No more Brexit talks, despite May's pleas

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us