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EU ministers discuss plan to extend carbon market

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To further cut CO emissions2 of the’European Union, the European Commission had proposed in mid-July to extend the existing carbon market: after manufacturers and energy companies, suppliers of road fuel and heating oil could also be forced to buy emission quotas from 2025.

A majority of Member States, which must now examine the text, immediately expressed their strong opposition, worrying about the probable additional cost passed on to the most vulnerable businesses and households, despite the social funds planned by Brussels.

Meeting in Amiens, in the north of France, between Thursday and Saturday, the European ministers of the Environment and Energy had exchanges very rich and constructive, and not just posture stances, said French Minister for Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili after the meeting.

We wondered if it was the most effective tool, the right lever to reduce carbon emissions, for example compared to regulatory measures to impose maximum emission thresholds on companies, she explained.

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While the device arouses many expressions of concern, the ministers focused on the foreseeable impact for households, especially the most modest ones and have thought to the tools that can be put in place so that this eventual setting up of a [second marché carbone] can be socially bearable and acceptable, and by all countries, insisted Barbara Pompili.

We have not yet managed to bring together all the points of view, but clearly this discussion has been useful, she concluded.

States must agree on the Brussels project, before negotiations with MEPs.

Pascal Canfin, chairman of the Environment Committee in the European Parliament and close to French President Emmanuel Macron, is fiercely hostile to the proposal, fearing a European “yellow vests” effect.

We believe that this carbon market is an effective tool to achieve our decarbonization objectives. And if the States do not want it, it must be replaced by alternative measures to cut emissions in road transport and buildings, however, warned in Amiens, the Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius.

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