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Brussels, 24 January 2013
EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard on recent developments in the European carbon market
"On a day where the carbon price at some point went below €3 it must be clear to all that when the Commission warned that the ETS price could drop dramatically it was not a false warning but a real possibility. This is not the time to put the Commission's back-loading proposal on the backburner.
On the contrary this should be the final wake-up call both to governments and to the European Parliament. Few would disagree that the ETS - a market-based cap and trade system - is the most cost-efficient tool in EU climate politics. If in doubt look at all the big economies now following the EU example by establishing similar ETS systems: Australia, Korea, California, China...
In line with what MS have asked the Commission to do, we have presented a proposal for back-loading (the short term response) and options for the more structural initiatives. Everyone knows that the political discussion over the structural options will take time. The recent events show that something has to be done urgently.
I can therefore only appeal to the governments and the European Parliament to act responsibly and support the back-loading.
The alternative to a well-functioning carbon market is hardly that the EU member states will make it cost nothing to pollute.
The alternative is a re-nationalisation of climate tools meaning a future patchwork of up to 27 different systems and taxes instead of one market creating a level playing field internally in Europe. To those in industry who both say that they want a strong EU ETS while they at the same time lobby against the policy that can secure exactly that I will say: It is time to think twice.''
For further information on the EU Emissions Trading System: