Manufacturers call for radical reform of greenhouse gas trading system

Britain's manufacturing industry is calling for a significant reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), urging the European Council to do more to keep crucial investment in energy intensive industries (EIIs) within Europe.

The call was made earlier today (21 August) by the manufacturers’ organisation EEF, which believes the reform should also be accompanied by a wider review of EU climate change policy to help reduce carbon emissions while keeping key industries competitive.

“Reducing our carbon emissions through to 2030 is going to be an enormous challenge with the targets currently on the table representing a tripling of effort from 2020 onwards,” said EEF’s head of climate & environment policy Gareth Stace.

“We cannot hit those targets without support for energy intensive industries and reforms must ensure we retain these in Europe.”

“If we leave the EU ETS essentially as it is today with only minor reforms then we will only serve to push these vital industries through the exit door to other parts of the world.”

“The current climate change landscape is also markedly different to a decade ago when EU ETS was first introduced and policy needs to reflect this. Between now and 2020 we have the opportunity to take stock and reform the wider policy framework. This will ensure it is fit for purpose and keep our fundamental industries competitive whilst, at the same time, helping them decarbonise and introduce new technologies.”

Long-term commitment

The European Council will meet in October to reach agreement on an energy and climate change framework to guide the EU through to 2030. This will examine a new emissions reduction target and the possibility of renewed commitments for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Ahead of that meeting, EEF wants the Council to consider: –


  • A radical overhaul of the competitiveness measures for industry within the EU ETS
  • A comprehensive strategy, and appropriate support, to deliver decarbonisation of industry
  • Long-term commitment to compensate EIIs from the pass through costs of decarbonisation of the power sector
  • Policy makers to take into account the cumulative burden of regulation

The manufacturers’ organisation is also calling for ‘a much needed discussion on how the EU ETS fits into the wider energy and climate change landscape’ which it believes is ‘complex’ and ‘confused’.

Earlier this year, edie reported that small and medium-sized businesses in the manufacturing industry can have their own environmental manager for up to 15 months thanks to a new initative backed by Defra.

The Government is funding a pilot project to test a new, collaborative approach to sharing resource efficiency managers amongst two clusters of manufacturing SMEs. Read more here.

Luke Nicholls

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