Berlin pushes Brussels to expedite emissions trading reforms

A coal power generation plant in Weisweiler, Germany. May 2014 [Thorsten Mohr/Flickr]
A coal power generation plant in Weisweiler, Germany. May 2014. [Thorsten Mohr/Flickr]

Germany has expressed its support for a proposal from the European Commission to reform the EU's emissions trading system, but it urges the EU to pursue more extensive improvements, and to introduce a so-called market stability reserve within the current parliamentary term. EurActiv Germany reports.

In the fight against climate change, the German government is pushing for quicker reforms than the European Commission over the EU’s Emission Trading System (ETS). The second step of the process must take effect sooner than the Commission’s 2021 plans, Germany's Ministry of the Environment explained on Thursday (12 June) in Berlin.

"With our position, we are sending a clear signal for the climate protection debate in the European Union,” Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said. “Germany wants to contribute to the EU setting ambitious targets and will move decisively forward so the latter will achieve them."

The German government hopes to speed up plans for a so-called market stability reserve in 2020, expediting these to be implemented within the current parliamentary term.

"We consider it necessary to have a markedly early start for the mechanism before 2020, starting in the year 2017," the German opinion on the Commission's proposal read. The common position was agreed upon between relevant departments in Germany and then submitted to Brussels.

To support prices, the EU uses so-called "back-loading" to delay the auctioning of pollution permits for 900 million tons of CO2 – a measure that is not seen as sufficient by many environmental politicians. These permits are then expected to be placed back on the market by 2020.

The German government, on the other hand, is proposing a prompt transfer of the 900 million certificates directly into the market stability reserve.

According to its plans, the Commission intends to pull up to 12% of CO2 emission rights certificates from the market under specific conditions. One of the preconditions states that at least 100 million papers must be taken from the market.

If, during its yearly calculations, the EU authority determines that less than 400 million certificates are in circulation, then it will release 100 million emissions rights back on the market. If less than 100 million certificates are available in the reserve, all papers must be released.

In this way, the price of emission permits can be stabilised during times of economic stagnation and low production.

"Carbon leakage"

But the German government wants to ensure that company relocations do not occur as a result of climate protection regulation (often referred to as "carbon leakage").

"We do not want to harm the competitiveness of German industry,” Hendricks said in Berlin, “for this reason, we will make sure that no German company has to relocate jobs to foreign countries due to climate protection."

The Federal Ministry of the Environment has an interest in speedy reform since Germany may miss its national climate targets planned to be met by 2020. The country's CO2 emissions are supposed to be reduced to at least 40% below 1990 levels. As a result of low CO2 prices, coal power plants can currently produce quite cheaply and are not being driven from the market by green energy producers.

Taking this stance, Hendricks said Germany is moving forward within the EU and has re-established its leading role in climate protection policy.

The German environment minister is optimistic about Germany’s position: "The Action Programme Climate Protection 2020 will additionally allow us to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions in Germany are reduced by 40% compared to 1990, reaching the 2020 target."



Alberto_Rodrigues.'s picture

I am Alberto Rodrigues an economical and digital science researcher One of the best way to descourage this kind of pollution is to teach entrepreneurs what they have to do to make businesses which do not consumare resources create pollutions and in parale introduces those courses in EU educations system since elementary scholl until the end of the University degree but obligatory for all pupils and students no mater which field they will follow

Alberto_Rodrigues.'s picture


I am Alberto Rodrigues an economical and digital science researcher Given that for investors ,entreprenors the most important thing for them is profit the best way to descourage pollution is to teach them how they can get high profit in short time without consuming resourses and make pollution In the other hand we know that strategic investors ,smart tourists ,and foreign students are searching for countries ,cities regions less polluted to invest visit and study

Given that a large number of investors and companies and leaving Europe Union and go to BRIC Countries and one of the few advantage of EU compared to what BRIC countries can offer them is that EU is a less polluted than BRIC ,because of this Europe Union must give strong signal to investors ,tourist and foreign students One of those signs are
1) Teach entrepreneurs which kind of business they can do and get hig profit without consuming resources
and produce pollution
2) Introduces obligatory courses from elementary school until Universities neveles
3) Organise know how and transfer events about those kind of business in the less EU pollueted cities ,as Viena ,Marbela ,Malmo ,Helsinki ,Stockholm ,and in some Danube Cities as Constanta ,Tulcea in Romania and some other from Germany and Viena
4) Teach entrepreneurs which kind of business they can do and employ people who can work from home ,what will be the charges the employes will do from home Like this a large number of people will leave big and so crowed EU cities go to villages and the country side lives there in a very healty way ,with their familiy and in the same time works for different companies and get hig salaries
5) For this purpose EU must introduces starting from elementary school until the Uiversity degree ,courses about how to work from home and get high salary Until them all the 28 EU countries must organise online course for all eductaion nevels ,conferences about those issues and in the same time but in separated mode organise also online cources for entrepreneurs ,conferences and training so they can know in which economic fields they can invest and take benefit from those advantages
6) In paralel with this EU must alocate found with priority for those activities area EU countries can eliminate taxes for companies which are going to reinvest profit in those activities areas
7) EU can give special support for companies who will employe people who can work from home Given that up to know EU had been blocked found in different activities area which do not bring hig profit in short time ,create a large number of jobs ,and which consume resource make pollution and which need people to move from their home town to so crowed EU cities ,there is no other projec ts more viable than those i had presented here Because of this Angela Merkel ,Bruxelles ,European commission must recommend EU countries to make reseach in oder to identify as much economic fields where money can be invested companies can get high profit without producing resourses and make pollution In the same time Universities and researches centers must make researches in order to identified as much as it is possible economic jobs which can be done from home ,and whatever people will now to do them and help companies to increase sales with low costs