Attempt to block GHG benchmarks fails


The European steel industry has claimed that the benchmarks set under the European Emissions Trading System could drive industry out of the continent. Whether or not its claims are true could now be put to the test as another attempt to block the benchmarks has failed.

SBB 18 March A proposal which questioned the legitimacy of the European Commission’s proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) benchmarks has been soundly defeated at the European Parliament’s environment committee, Steel Business Briefing learns. The proposal received nine votes in favour and 43 against. The benchmarks will decide the number of free carbon credits steelmakers receive in 2013-2020.

When the proposals were debated in February they received little support, as previously reported. The outcome was foreseeable, Eurofer agreed. Nevertheless, its position remains the same and it is still considering a legal challenge if the benchmarks are adopted by the European Parliament.

Meanwhile, the European Commission held a stakeholder conference on its ‘2050 Roadmap’ yesterday. This suggests a decrease in GHG emissions is possible beyond the 20% cut by 2020 the EU has already agreed. It is intended to pave the way for a more detailed proposal to be voted on by the European Parliament in June.

One of the most controversial proposals would set aside carbon credits to fund renewable energy projects. Climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard brought up the idea herself, suggesting she could push for it to be included in any proposals.

Eurofer has warned that the move is at best market manipulation, and at worst illegal. They could “destroy the system they have created”, it adds.

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