Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Transatlantic conference hears bleak evaluation of EU climate policies

Transatlantic conference hears bleak evaluation of EU climate policies « 3E Intelligence

Overall, the European participants painted a less rosy picture than EU institutions want to make believe. Not only was there the growing disappointment with the global effects of biofuels policies (one of the EU’s own environmental institutions now pleads for suspending the 10% target), but the evaluation of Europe’s climate flagship, the emissions trading scheme or ETS, was also rather bleak. It is obvious that up to now the ETS has not lived up to its expectations. Very few real technological investments as a result of pricing CO2 have taken place and the only ones who seem to have won from ETS are the financial traders (who therefore write very positive reports about ETS). It is doubtful whether the Commission’s new proposals will turn things around. Not only has the energy-intensive industry hijacked the debate with its “carbon leakage” panic but even the better parts of the Commission’s ETS review drew heavy fire at the conference. “When Europe’s power producers (who have made big windfall profits in the first phase of ETS) applaud the auctioning proposals of the new Commission package, you have to smell a rat” was the justified and smart observation of an ex-Commission official.

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