Price decline of emission certificates to be stopped

A quarter of the CO2 emissions certificates that are planned to be released by 2015 will not be put on the market until 2019 and 2020. On February 19, 2013, the European Parliament's Environment Committee issued this proposal for approval by the EU Commission. This is to prevent the industrial sector from stocking up on emissions certificates at dumping prices.

The backdrop of the commission's initiative is the economic crisis, which is developing from the financial crisis and has led to a decline in prices in the European emissions market. As a result, the cost of a certificate for one ton of CO2 emissions declined from around 20 euros to less than seven euros. A temporary shortage in emissions rights should stop the price decline. Certificates for 900 million tons of CO2, which should be released to the market at a later date, are affected.

The chairman of the Environment Committee, Matthias Groote, commented on the agreement, saying, "A stronger carbon price will help catalyze Europe's transition towards a low–carbon economy. Delaying auctions is only a temporary fix, but it is a positive step" If parliament's plenary session and the Council of Ministers agree, the Commission's plan can be implemented.

However, there is opposition coming from the industry committee of the parliament in the form of a non-binding opinion. The committee fears competitive disadvantages for European industries. The Slovenian Christian Democrat Romana Jordan justified this, "Interfering in a market system with theintention of creating price incentives while increasing costs for industry and small andmedium-sized enterprises would send the wrong signal in times of economic slow down."

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