Brussels (dpa) – Towards the new EU climate target for 2030, the Greens in the European Parliament want to drastically increase the price of carbon dioxide emissions to push coal-fired power stations out of the market.
“A CO2 price of 150 euros by 2030 is the cornerstone for this,” said Green MP Michael Blossom of the German news agency in Brussels. To this end, European emissions trading must be reformed.
According to the Greens, a minimum price of 50 euros per tonne of carbon dioxide will apply from 2023. The costs must then rise to € 150 by 2030 and to € 195 by mid-2030, so that the switch to purely renewable energy sources can be realized as quickly as possible. However, the Greens reject an extension of the European ETS trading system to include traffic and buildings. Climate expert Bas Eickhout said the price increase would have direct consequences for consumers without compensation being paid at the European level.
Monday and Tuesday will also be a special summit of the European Union on the implementation of the new EU climate target. The 27 states agree to reduce greenhouse gases by at least 55 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 – the previously set target was 40 percent. It is controversial exactly how this should be done and which country should save how much. The European Commission intends to make proposals in mid-July in a package called “Fit for 55”.
The system introduced in 2005 works as follows: for every ton of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, polluters need a permit. These certificates are tradable. The total amount allowed decreases every year, making certificates more expensive. So far factories, power plants and airlines have been involved. The higher the price, the more it pays to switch to technology without CO2, i.e. without coal, oil or gas. The certificate price has recently risen to approximately EUR 50 per ton due to shortages and speculation.
Commission President Frans Timmermans has already announced that emissions trading will be tightened and possibly also expanded to include transport and buildings. Instead, the Greens are calling for stricter regulations, for example to reduce CO2 in new cars or to save energy when heating and cooling buildings. That is easier, faster and fairer, argued Eickhout.
However, the expansion of emissions trading has many supporters in Germany, including the FDP who recently advocated it. The trading system is considered a market-based tool because carbon dioxide is saved where it is cheapest. The European system had years of start-up difficulties as many certificates were distributed for free and the market price remained low. Several reforms were needed to get the market going.