EU Poised to Give Heavy Industry Free Carbon Permits

by | Nov 5, 2009

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smokestackitude2European industries including metals, building materials, textiles and ceramics will benefit from free carbon permits, starting in 2013, under the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme.

Operators in those industries complained that not having free pollution permits would make them uncompetitive with their counterparts in India, North Africa and Russia, reports Reuters.

The EU’s executive European Commission had drawn up a list of industries it thought should receive free permits. The European Parliament’s environment committee was presented a motion to reject the list, and 39 parliamentarians opposed the motion, while just 19 supported it, meaning that the European Commission’s master list of polluting industries to get free permits will stand.

Manufacturers had said that if they had to pay for carbon permits, they would move operations outside the EU.

The concession to industry represents a partial giveaway, since only the 10 percent most efficient operators will be given free permits. Those companies will be determined following a benchmarking that begins next year.

Less efficient factories will be forced to purchase 20 percent of their carbon emissions permits starting in 2013. By 2020, that amount rises to 70 percent, and 100 percent by 2027.

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