British companies have been offered the prospect of a clear advantage over their European rivals under the latest European Commission plans for cutting carbon dioxide emissions (reports the UK Financial Times).
The new guidelines published on Monday require member states to cut CO2 emissions from their most energy-intensive industry sectors by an average of six per cent between 2008 and 2012, under the second phase of the EU’s mandatory greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme.
The six per cent roughly correlates to the EU’s shortfall from its targets under the Kyoto protocal on climate change which came into force earlier this year. However, because the UK is closer to meeting its Kyoto targets British businesses should face less severe demands for cuts in their greenhouse gas output in the second phase of the scheme. The companies affected in this phase are in the power generation, oil and gas, steel, cement, glass, brick and paper industries.
Atle Christiansen, director at Point Carbon, said detailed guidance to member states issued by the Commission yesterday made a clear connection between countries’ Kyoto commitments and their obligations under the scheme. Matthew Farrow, head of environment at the CBI employers’ organisation, said: “We expect other member states to have to raise their game, and the Commission needs to be robust in ensuring . . . this”.
Governments must submit national allocation plans showing how much carbon dioxide industries will be allowed to emit under the second phase of the scheme by the end of June.