Monday, 23 February 2015
A symbolic protest took place in front of the European parliament on Monday, led by WWF, Climate Action Network and Carbon Market Watch. These three groups want to strengthen reserve funds for market stability, and called for MEPs to review the European emissions quota trading scheme, or ETS (European Trading Scheme). The CO2 ETS market is the main scheme set up by the EU to fight climate change and was set up in 2005. It was created with the aim of making polluters pay for their emissions and is based on the principle that when a firm exceeds its allocated annual quota for CO2 emissions, it must buy quotas from another firm producing less CO2 emissions than allowed. The hope is that this market will encourage manufacturers to invest in technologies that are less harmful to the environment.
Next February 24th, the Environment Committee of the European parliament will vote to reform the market. “Carbon market quotas cost approximately 5 to 7 euros per ton, and we believe that currently the system is not working: low prices do not dissuade polluters. They are too low to generate investments in renewable energies and clean technologies in Europe,” pointed out Sam Van den Plas from WWF.
“MEPs must make sure the first round of ETS reforms knocks down the massive oversupply in pollution permits which is destroying the European carbon market. The next time round, we expect them to permanently eradicate those toxic tons of CO2,” he added.