What are Central Europe’s main opportunities, when it comes to the ETS reform?
The Commission’s new proposals are needed, as the reforms have to provide some certainty, both to industry and to investors in Central and Eastern Europe, by setting the rules for the period post-2030. There is major scope to enhance energy efficiency, which is good for consumers and producers, and pave the way to supporting climate action. We need to make sure that there are real opportunities for investors in Central and Eastern Europe, because we do not want to face an emission-intensive production relocation and an investment relocation in third countries.
How should anti-carbon leakage measures be designed to ensure an effective ETS system?
Free allocation of allowances are essential for the industries on the carbon leakage list. Flexibility regarding the number of free allowances versus auctioned allowances, is crucial for the sustainability of the EU ETS in the long term, and under changing economic conditions. Let’s not forget about the Modernisation Fund, which should be governed by the beneficiary Member States, and the investment selection criteria should take into account national circumstances.
Fertilizer costs are significantly affected by carbon prices. How should we face this challenge?
The Commission’s proposals should not harm international competitiveness and should take into consideration all those industries whose emissions are chemically unavoidable, in order to ensure that such industries do not suffocate under the new ETS provisions. However, the Commission’s support should not exclude the proviso that these industries make efforts to invest in new technologies, in order to find innovative ways for the future.
What measures are available to enhance diversity within the EU’s energy sectors?
Following the 3rd Energy Package, the Commission has been trying to provide financial support for projects, in the areas of renewable energy sources and carbon capture and storage, through the NER 300 Fund. In 2015, the Market Stability Reserve concept for the ETS was introduced, and it will become effective in 2019. Hopefully, the MSR will align the offers/demands for allowances, and the surplus of allowances placed in the reserve, will address the issues when there are shortages of allowances. The Renewable Energy Directive promotes incentives for hydro-electric, biomass, wind, and solar power. An Innovation Fund within the ETS, will also be established.
Aviation, road transport, waste agriculture, and buildings should continue to be non-ETS sectors, and be part of the Effort Sharing Decision. Member States need to have the necessary framework to set their own national targets, taking into account the specific conditions of each Member State.
Are we closer to a global climate policy after the Paris Summit?
An effective climate policy must be global. First, though, we need to have precise measurements of the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. At the present time, the specific technology, in order to produce these measurements, is not available. A new generation of satellites should enable the measurement of carbon emissions, but new investments are needed in this direction, on a global level.
Interview with Marian-Jean Marinescu, MEP