UK Green Building Council

World Green Building Council’s Europe Regional Network response to EU ETS vote

Date released: 
16 Apr 2013

The European Parliament has today voted against the proposal to remove a surplus of allowance in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), which have kept the price of a tonne of carbon lower than the price of a hamburger. 

The proposal, known as ‘backloading’, was aimed at ensuring that the price of carbon acts as a genuine incentive for low carbon investment. Importantly, debates over the EU ETS set the scene for debates over the EU’s 2030 climate and energy targets, which look set to be plagued by a lack of ambition.

The Europe Regional Network of the World Green Building Council has been a vocal supporter of the backloading proposal and a strengthened EU ETS.

Senior Policy Advisor to the Network, James Drinkwater, said: “Today is a desperately sad day for the EU; previously a world leader on climate change policy, and with many countries around the world developing their own cap-and-trade schemes, the message we have sent out is an overwhelmingly negative one.

“Our Network had hoped that EU policy makers would recognise the central importance of a strong EU ETS in the move towards a low carbon competitive economy. It’s a fundamental piece of climate policy which regulates the very beginning of the lifecycle for many building components, and which could have been used to drive energy efficient renovation of Europe’s building stock. Its worth has been severely undermined today.”

Progressive EU countries such as France, Germany and the Czech Republic have linked revenues raised by the EU ETS with energy efficiency renovation schemes. Ensuring that funding is identified to back countries’ renovation obligations under the EU’s new Energy Efficiency Directive is a key challenge as Member States implement this Directive.

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