UK calls for major changes to EU’s “cap and trade” emissions system

von Dr. Peter Nagel

(LEXEGESE) - The UK is calling for major reforms to improve the emissions “cap and trade” system put in place by the European Union since 2005 to tackle climate change.

The EU Emission Trading System (ETS) gives companies from heavy industries and the power sector flexibility to decide whether to invest in carbon abatement or to purchase emission allowances to comply. But the market currently has a surplus of over 2 billion allowances, meaning it is not stimulating the low-carbon investment needed now to meet long-term targets. Various factors such as the economic downturn and an insufficiently ambitious target for 2020 have resulted in a lower than expected demand for allowances, and therefore a weak price signal for low-carbon investment.

The reform measures, published on 16 July 2014, are - according to the UK Government - needed to strengthen the ETS so that it helps businesses to deliver future emissions reductions cost-effectively, fosters investment in innovative low-carbon technologies, and protects the competitiveness of UK industries in the transition to a global low-carbon economy ...

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