Bloomberg News

Companies Say EU Must Fix Carbon Market to Boost Prices

May 02, 2012

Europe must improve its emissions program to boost the price of carbon and should promote clean technologies as a foundation for future growth, according to companies including Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and Acciona SA. (ANA)

The European Union’s emissions trading system needs a “meaningful recalibration,” after the price of permits dropped to a record low, according to a statement published before a meeting of companies with senior EU officials in Brussels today.

“This action will provide a strong carbon-dioxide price signal that business can respond to and ensure Europe makes the rapid progress needed to improve energy efficiency and support low-carbon technologies,” Graeme Sweeney, Shell’s vice president of Future Fuels and CO2, said in the statement.

One way to bolster the world’s biggest carbon market is to withhold some permits in the next phase of the cap-and-trade program starting in 2013, Sweeney said in the statement published by the Prince of Wales’s EU Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, or EU CLG, which also includes Unilever, the world’s second-biggest consumer goods company.

Commission Meeting

Members of the EU CLG are meeting today with European Commission PresidentJose Barroso, Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik to discuss the role of green innovation and the development of low-carbon economy.

EU carbon permits for December slumped 68 percent in the past year to a record low of 5.99 percent last month on concerns that the system will be oversupplied for most of its next trading phase through 2020 after recessions and debt crises curbed industrial output. Permits closed 4.6 percent lower at 7.09 euros on the ICE Futures Europe exchange today.

The European Commission, the EU regulatory arm, is planning to seek a review of carbon-permit auctioning rules as of 2013 to delay some volumes at the beginning of the next trading period, Hedegaard said on April 19. Such a revision would require support from member states to pass.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ewa Krukowska in Brussels at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at

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