Emissions benchmarks face opposition in Europe’s Parliament

The benchmarks which will be used to determine free allocations of carbon credits from 2013 onwards have been a cause of much debate in the steel industry. An attempt is underway to challenge the benchmarks at the European Parliament. However, the benchmarks may have sufficient support to thwart the efforts of energy-intensive industries.

SBB 15 February The steel sector is one of three mentioned in a draft resolution which questions the legality of the European Commission’s proposed greenhouse gas emission benchmarks, Steel Business briefing understands. The draft, which has been submitted to the environment committee, could force the commission to make a new set of proposals.

The use of blast furnace waste gases is one of the issues raised by the resolution; the motion argues that the commission should provide free carbon credits for 100% of the emissions saved by this process. The proposed benchmarks, as they stand, would only compensate for some of these emissions. Other issues in the lime and dolomite, and refining, petrochemical and fertiliser sectors are also being argued.

Six members of the European Parliament have signed their names to the draft. Five were from the environment committee: Philippe Juvin of France, Pilar Ayuso of Spain, Jolanta Emilia Hibner of Poland, Radvilé Morkunaite-Mikuleniene of Lithuania, Theodoros Skylakakis of Greece and Boguslaw Sonik of Poland. In addition, Konrad Szymansky of Poland, from the Industry, Research and Energy committee also added his name.

The draft will be voted on by the environment committee in mid-March and, if approved, by the European Parliament in April.


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