Energy and Climate Change

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energy and climate change
19 Mar.2015

Consultation response on the revision of the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) Directive

Background: On 24 October 2014, the European Council agreed on the 2030 framework for climate and energy, including a binding domestic target for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of at least 40% in 2030 as compared to 1990. To meet this target, the European Council agreed that the emissions in the EU Emission Trading System should be reduced, compared to 2005, by 43%. A reformed EU ETS remains the main instrument to achieve the emission reduction target. The cap will decline based on an annual linear reduction factor of 2.2% (instead of the current 1.74%) from 2021 onwards, to achieve the necessary emission reductions in the EU ETS. The European Council furthermore gave strategic guidance on several issues regarding the implementation of the emission reduction target, namely free allocation to industry, the establishment of a modernisation and an innovation fund, optional free allocation of allowances to modernise electricity generation in some Member States.

The strategic guidance given by European leaders on these elements will be translated into a legislative proposal to revise the EU ETS for the period post-2020. This constitutes an important part of the work on the achievement of a resilient Energy Union with a forward looking climate change policy, which has been identified as a key policy area in President Juncker's political guidelines for the new Commission.

The purpose of this stakeholder consultation was to gather stakeholders' views on these elements.

CEPI's Key messages :

- The ETS in general, and the benchmarks in particular, should reward installations and sectors reducing GHG emissions, without penalising early movers, new investment made, and low-carbon economic growth. Fiscal and legislative stability and predictability are needed to enable investments in low-carbon technologies.
- The pulp and paper industry cannot pass through carbon costs to its customers: the global market of export goods sets prices, not the production costs of the European industry. This can be easily verified by the lack of correlation between carbon prices and final product prices.
- For “direct carbon costs”, free allocation is a necessary condition but not sufficient to avoid carbon leakage: support mechanisms should be set up to help the EU industry improve its energy efficiency and reduce its GHG emissions.
- Concerning “indirect carbon costs”, it would be better for a mandatory and harmonised EU-wide compensation scheme to address the impact of rising electricity costs due to ETS in all Member States. Financing of compensation schemes should include also, but not be limited to, auctioning revenues from ETS.
- Support for innovation in industry should not come at the expenses of carbon leakage protection: funding for innovation will have to come on top of free allowances for industry. It should be directed to directly finance large-scale demo and pilot projects, as well projects close to commercialisation stage (TRL 6-8). These are high risk, high capital investments where the private sector would not be able to deliver without the backing of public financing.
- The role that European industry plays in the circular economy and in the bioeconomy is of strategic importance for Europe’s access to raw materials and reducing Europe’s carbon footprint. This should be acknowledged when reviewing the EU ETS, by addressing the ETS impact on prices and availability of raw material, such as wood.
 

Read the full reponse.

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25 Feb.2015

CEPI applauds European Commission’s Energy Union Package

Last chance for energy markets - Member states’ support key to its success

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) strongly welcomes the Energy Union Package published today by the European Commission. CEPI especially welcomes the emphasis put on delivering competitive energy prices, investing in the bioeconomy and establishing synergies between the energy efficiency, resource efficiency and circular economy policies.

“This package is the last chance to make energy markets in Europe work”, says Marco Mensink, CEPI Director General. The success of the Energy Union no longer depends on the Commission, but on member states’ willingness to “walk the talk”. CEPI expects national governments to urgently give their support to make the package a reality. A strong EU energy regulator is part of the solution. “In this case, ‘more Europe’ is the answer to the industry and consumers’ need for affordable and competitive energy,” he added.

The package not only recognises that energy costs for industry in Europe are uncompetitive, it also acknowledges that the root of the problem lies in the levies, taxes and additional costs energy consumers are charged for by the member states. If no measures are taken, the need for capacity payments will add yet another layer of costs, affecting all European energy consumers.

CEPI has great expectations for a number of key elements to be later defined in the package proposal. The Commission indicates renewable support schemes would need to be rationalised. The system of subsidies for burning wood for energy can no longer be sustained. Furthermore, establishing an EU biomass supply policy is urgently needed. In addition, energy recovery from waste should be limited to non-recyclable fractions, in line with the waste hierarchy and the requirements for separate collection.

Among the first proposed actions, the Emission Trading System reform offers the possibility to turn the ETS into a tool that rewards investments in low-carbon technologies, while ensuring industrial competitiveness. Engaging industry in this process is crucial. Moreover, the Energy Union should support industrial co-generation, recognising its role in delivering demand side flexibility. This should be part of the combined initiative on the internal energy market, together with the review of the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy.

For more information, please contact Annie Xystouris at a.xystouris@cepi.org, mobile: +32(0)486 243 642.

Note to the author:

European Commission: Energy Union: http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/energy-union/index_en.htm

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11 Sep.2014

Alliance of Energy Intensive Industries renews calls for ‘carbon leakage’ protection

The Alliance of Energy Intensive Industries (AEII) has published an open letter  to the heads of State and Governments of the EU Member States, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on carbon leakage. CEPI is part of this alliance.


The 2030 climate and energy framework must guarantee predictability for industry by setting the principles for measures against carbon and investment leakage now.


The undersigned manufacturing industries are the foundation of Europe’s economic fabric, drivers of jobs and growth in Europe. We represent over 30 000 companies in the EU with more than 4 million direct jobs, and around 30 million jobs in our manufacturing value chains.


The EU should focus on promoting recovery and growth of industrial production in Europe, in line with the objective to reinstate industry’s share of EU GDP to 20% by 20201. European industries need a stable and long term legislative framework that effectively combines EU climate ambition with EU industrial competiveness.


Current carbon leakage provisions under the EU Emissions Trading Directive, if not revised rapidly, will result in a huge shortage in free allowances and increasing direct and indirect costs (the pass-through of carbon costs into power prices) for even the most efficient installations in Europe. In the period from 2021 to 2030, when the provisions against carbon leakage and free allocation would be phased out, our industries are expected to face hundreds of billions of Euros in direct costs and costs passed through in electricity prices.2 The impact on energy intensive industries will simply be overwhelming.


Knowing that the Commission will be looking at “an improved system of free allocation of allowances with a better focus” for 2021-2030 is not enough. Industry needs a clear outline of policy measures to effectively prevent the risk of carbon and investment leakage.

The Commission’s legislative proposals currently only cover EU ETS structural reforms, which increase both carbon prices as well as the unilateral burden on EU industry, and expose EU jobs and growth to aggravated carbon leakage risk. Unfortunately, the Commission intends to publish proposals to prevent carbon leakage only at a later stage.


This is contrary to the guidance resulting from the March 2014 European Council, instructing the Commission “to rapidly develop measures to prevent potential carbon leakage in order to ensure the competitiveness of Europe's energy-intensive industries”, and this to provide by October 2014 “the necessary stability and predictability for its economic operators”.


The European Parliament stressed in February 2014 “that the 2030 climate and energy policy targets must be technically and economically feasible for EU industries and that best performers should have no direct or indirect additional costs resulting from climate policies; [that] the provisions for carbon leakage should provide 100% free allocation of technically achievable benchmarks, with no reduction factor for carbon leakage sectors.” 3
We therefore urge the European Council to give guidance at its summit on 23/24 October confirming that carbon leakage measures will be continued after 2020, as well as outlining the principles for the level of protection in order to safeguard predictability, investment certainty, jobs and growth in Europe:


Until a global agreement on climate change provides for a level playing field for energy intensive sectors at risk of carbon and investment leakage, best performers should not be penalised by direct or indirect additional costs resulting from the framework. This implies:


- Truly 100% free allocation based on technically and economically achievable benchmarks (including heat and fuel based benchmarks), reflecting recent production, and without a correction factor.
- Harmonized off-setting of all CO2 costs passed through into electricity prices in all Member States.


The Market Stability Reserve must only be considered in conjunction with the above measures, instead of through piecemeal approach.
The undersigned energy intensive industries are all at risk of carbon and investment leakage and therefore must be safeguarded through the above measures
.


These measures provide the essential signal towards industry for predictability and investment certainty, and secure an environmentally and economically sound EU ETS which does not distort the market. We strongly believe that these measures, together with strong innovation funds to support breakthrough innovation in industrial technologies and processes, will offer a win-win situation for the global climate and the European economy.4
 

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1 European Commission Communication "For a European Industrial Renaissance", COM(2014) 14/2
2 The Commission expects a price of €40/tCO2 in 2030, modelling presented by Point Carbon expects ca. €48/tCO2 (source: www.ceps.eu/taskforce/review-eu-ets-issues); Climate Economics Chair calculates a price of up €70/tCO2 in a high scenario in its report EU ETS reform in the Climate-Energy Package 2030: First lessons from the ZEPHYR model, Paris 2014.
3 European Parliament resolution of 4 February 2014 on the Action Plan for a competitive and sustainable steel industry in Europe (2013/2177(INI))
4 The agreement on the reform of the EU ETS between the Dutch government, industry and NGOs proves that a compromise and a balanced solution between the pillars of EU sustainable policy – growth, jobs, and environmental protection – is possible by applying an allocation more closely linked to economic reality e.g. a dynamic emissions trading system.

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14 Feb.2014

Europe should support, not hamper EU industrial competitiveness

CEPI comments on the draft EU guidelines on environment and energy aid

Summary
It is unwise to raise costs for the industry to promote competition in the internal market, by doing so Europe will lose competitiveness in the global market.
CEPI therefore calls the European Commission to urgently modify the proposed draft guidelines on environment and energy aid for 2014-2020, in order to:
• allow 100% aid intensity for cogeneration;
• do not cap exemption from electricity price increases due to support for renewables;
• do not change definition for energy intensive industry.

The Guidelines on environment and energy aid for 2014-2020 will be an essential tool for reaching the ambitious 2020 energy and climate goals in a cost-effective manner. It is therefore important to promote low-carbon investments while preventing distortion of competition.
The European Commission should scrutinise the impact of proposed measures on the overall EU industrial competitiveness. Preventing intra-EU distortion of competition is important. But in a global competitive market, EU industry is faced with costs unmatched by other economies.

CEPI asks the European Commission to urgently correct three main issues.


First, allow 100% aid intensity for cogeneration.

The European Commission cannot adopt interpretative guidelines derogating from EU law. Art. 15 of the Council Directive 2003/96/EC (the so-called “Energy Taxation Directive”) specifically allows Member States “total or partial exemptions or reductions in the level of taxation” for energy used and electricity produced from combined heat and power generation (so-called “cogeneration” or “CHP”). However, the draft guidelines propose restricting investment and operating aid for cogeneration installations (from para. 17 onwards).
 

Such a restrictive interpretation is not only contrary to EU law, but also to the overarching 2020 energy-climate policies, where promotion of cogeneration is a key element of energy efficiency policies. It is arbitrary, inappropriate and acts as a disincentive for cogeneration, and the promotion of energy efficiency.

Second, do not cap exemption from electricity price increases due to support for renewables.
The draft state aid guidelines propose capping aid for industry at 85% for increased costs to support renewable energy sources (RES). This proposal in unacceptable for two main reasons:
1. From an environmental perspective, there is no link between the additional cost associated to RES promotion and the behavioural change expected by the beneficiary (industry) to achieve this environmental objective. Although RES contribute also – but not exclusively – to the environmental objective, the redistribution of costs within society is a social policy, where competency lies with the Member States;
2. The cost of promoting RES varies across Member States, even for the same technology. The cost depends on geographical conditions and on the way it fits into other cost components in the electricity bill, such as: national energy mix, network charges, other taxes and levies. Tackling just one component of the overall electricity price will not address intra-EU competition. On the contrary, an additional cost promoting RES set at EU level has the potential of further increasing market distortion.

Third, do not change definition for energy intensive industry.
The Energy Taxation Directive clearly defines “energy-intensive business” a business entity “where either the purchases of energy products and electricity amount to at least 3,0 % of the production value or the national energy tax payable amounts to at least 0,5 % of the added value” (Art. 17).


However, the draft state aid guidelines introduce a different definition of energy intensive industry, setting higher thresholds (10% trade intensity and 5% tax costs/gross value added). The new thresholds are based on carbon leakage criteria set in the EU Emission Trading System (ETS).


Such an interpretation is arbitrary and conceptually not correct. The carbon leakage criteria are meant to protect EU industry from unmatched costs from third countries. It looks at global competition. The state aid guidelines look at intra-EU competition. The basis for assessing distortion of competition cannot be the same.


The definition of energy intensive industry in the state aid guidelines needs to match the definition in the Energy Taxation Directive to avoid legal uncertainties distorting the internal market.

For more information, please contact Nicola Rega at (n.rega@cepi.org)

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24 Jan.2014 ,

Focus is back on industry in EU policy, but will it work?

The fact that the 2030 Energy and Climate package includes an analysis of energy costs and was published together with the European Industrial Renaissance Communication is a landmark shift in EU policy. The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) interprets this as a signal showing the European Commission is starting to take industrial competitiveness seriously. However, there are still important steps to be taken.

In practice, this new package will not change the competitiveness of industry in the short run. The high pile of documents released by the Commission analyses and promises, but at the end it only proposes one legal act – the change of the EU ETS. In this regard, CEPI welcomes the Commission proposal to keep EU ETS unchanged up to 2020 to give the necessary stability for investments in EU industry. But is this enough?

The Commission finally acknowledged energy prices in Europe are uncompetitive, as electricity costs for industry are twice that of US competitors. It also rightfully recognised the way the EU supported renewable energy was unsustainable. It is now up to EU member states to change this. But more is needed. The gas market needs to be reformed. Energy interconnections between EU member states need to increase urgently.

The impact on European competitiveness of a 40% CO2 reduction target by 2030 for the entire EU economy cannot be underestimated either. The suggested changes by the Commission for industrial sectors will require emission reductions of 43% in 2030, 65% in 2040 and 87% in 2050. The European Council in March needs to assess the feasibility of this package in detail and develop tools that support the deployment of innovative low-carbon solutions in industry. This is especially needed, if no further global action is taken and the EU Economy does not improve.

Additionally, the cost of decarbonising the current power sector - a key challenge - is not addressed. This will most likely increase electricity bills, which the European Commission accepted as being too high already. The EU will have to explore new models of decarbonising the power sector, other than via the carbon price alone.

Specifically related to the European pulp and paper industry, CEPI applauds the long awaited recognition of the negative impact of subsidised bioenergy on EU wood markets. And CEPI welcomes the announcement in the 2030 Energy and Climate package to further explore funding tools for breakthrough technologies.

But the bottom line is: policy needs to be put into practice. “We appreciate the refocus on industrial policy. It is a good sign that the Commission recognises again our role in creating jobs and growth for Europe. However, the proposed measures for an effective industrial policy need to be translated into concrete actions as soon as possible”, said Teresa Presas, CEPI Director General.


For more information, please contact Daniela Haiduc at d.haiduc@cepi.org, mobile: +32(0)473562936


Note to the Editor

2030 Energy and Climate Package from the European Commission:
http://ec.europa.eu/energy/2030_en.htm

Industrial renaissance Communication:
http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/initiatives/mission-growth/index_en.htm

 

 

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