EU carbon directive must be implemented fairly, say steel mills


Steel producers talk about “fair” implementation – it has to be presumed that this is fair from their point of view. All well and good, but there is also the need to look at fairness from a wider point of view. What this should be, of course, is totally opaque.

SBB 2 July 2010 European steel producers association, Eurofer, has reiterated to Steel Business Briefing its concerns over the supply of European Union Allocations (EUAs) in phase III (2012-2020) of the European Emissions Trading System (ETS).

The European Commission missed a deadline on 30 June to publish the total number of EUAs to be made available in phase III. When questioned, EC spokesman, Lena de Visscher, told SBB the announcement would now be made “in the next few days”.

“The volume of EUAs available in 2013 will be much below the average of the second trading period [2008-2012],” warns Eurofer spokesman, Axel Eggert. According to the EC directive the total number of EUAs will decrease at a constant rate from 2013 but, because the decrease is to be measured from the ‘mid-point’ of phase II, a sharper decline will be seen in 2013.

Although the general model for phase III allocations has been set out, details are thin on the ground. The system could be either too lenient to be effective in cutting emissions, or so strict that it becomes punitive for steel producers. “The provisions of the directive must therefore be implemented in a way that a fair quantity is available and not reduced to the lowest possible level”, Eggert adds.

The method of auctioning EUAs in phase III will be voted on by the EU climate change committee on 14 July, SBB notes.

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