Europe’s Energy Users Seek Delay On Carbon Fix

From The Age

Europe’s biggest energy using companies urged lawmakers to avoid fast-track approval of a proposal to tackle a record oversupply of carbon permits that has divided policy makers.

The European Parliament’s environment committee yesterday delayed by a week a decision on starting accelerated talks with European Union states on a law change aimed at fixing a glut of emission allowances that pushed prices to a record low. The talks should start only after a debate in the full Parliament, the Alliance of Energy Intensive Industries said in a letter to lawmakers obtained by Bloomberg News.

Europe’s 54 billion-euro ($70 billion) cap-and-trade system, the world’s largest, imposes emission limits on about 12,000 power plants and factories to spur investment in clean technologies. The benchmark carbon futures contract has slumped from 31 euros a metric ton in 2006 to as low as 2.81 euros last month, a price the European Commission has said is too low to encourage trade in the emission allowances.

“The plenary debate, followed by a vote, would allow all members of the European Parliament to express their views and provide required political support for the final decision,” the AEII said in the letter.

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