ArcelorMittal has failed in its challenge against the legality of the Emission Trading Directive (ETDi). The steel giant argued that legislation underpinning the EU’s ETD gave aluminium and plastic industries an uncompetitive advantage over steel.
The Directive to include aviation in the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETSi) has been published in the EU’s Official Journal, and will enter into force on 2 February 2009. The Directive stipulates that all flights into and out of European airports will be included in the scheme as of 2012. Airline emissions will be capped at 97% of their 2004-6 levels in 2012 and at 95% after that. In addition, airlines will have to pay for 15% of their allowance allocation. Member States have one year to transpose the Directive into national law.
Carbon capture and storage technology (CCS) will not be mandatory for fossil fuel power plants in the EU. It will, however, be promoted by treating stored emissions as though they were “not emitted” in the ETSi. CCS plant operators will, therefore, avoid the cost of buying carbon allowances. Furthermore, a series of planned demonstration plants will be funded through the revenue collected from 300 million ETS allowances, and new combustion plants with a capacity of at least 300 megawatts will have to include enough space for the installation of carbon capture equipment.
The European Environment Agency has published a comprehensive report on the implementation of the EU ETSi by Member States, following the termination of the first trading period (2005-2007). The report presents the experiences of Member States on implementing the trading system, covering specific information on the trading year 2007 as well as some findings from the whole first trading period. The report also contains a short discussion about the risk of carbon leakage.
The issue of carbon leakage - and the vulnerability of industries such as the cement industry – was highlighted during a CEMBUREAU press conference in December. A study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) concluded that ‘clinker and cement production in the EU would be seriously affected by carbon leakage’ and that, as a consequence, the relocation of clinker production to countries with no carbon constraints would accelerate from 2013. “The European cement industry is highly vulnerable to carbon leakage” stressed Dr Jean-Marie Chandelle, Chief Executive of CEMBUREAU.
The most significant aspect of the adopted climate change package is Parliament’s endorsement of the heads of governments’ final compromise on revising the EU ETSi, reached on 12 December. According to the compromise, industrial sectors considered at significant risk of carbon leakage based on criteria agreed by EU leaders will be able to receive up to 100% of allowances free from 2013. Free allowances will be allocated on the basis of best-in-class technology benchmarks. According to the Commission, more than 90% of manufacturing emissions would qualify.
The European Parliament formally approved six new climate and energy laws in December, fulfilling the French Presidency’s stated objective of achieving some form of agreement before the end of the year. The adoption of the new climate and energy package completed a busy environmental legislative year. Over 550 MEPs backed the package, which includes the Directive to revise rules for the EU Emission Trading System (ETSi) for its third trading period from 2013 to 2020.
November 2009 - For nearly two years the European cement industry has battled to be recognised as vulnerable to carbon leakage in the context of the EU ETSi. This is now officially the case after the decision made in the European Parliament Environmental Committee on 4 November (this decision is final as far as the European Parliament is concerned) and the adoption by the Council on 30 November 2009.
February 2009 - This was, in a nutshell, the message delivered by the Alliance for a Competitive European Industry (ACEIi) to President Barroso on 25 February 2009.
June 2009 - Long after the deadline for pre-registration has passed and, therefore, too late to ensure legal certainty, a first draft of the guidelines for the application of Annex V of REACHi has eventually been produced by ECHAi (European Chemicals Agency). It will now have to be approved by CARACALi (Competent Authorities for REACH and CLPi) and will then be officially published by ECHA.
May 2009 - Ever since the impact of the economic crisis began to be felt in Europe at the end of 2008, CEMBUREAU has been vocal in calling upon the European Institutions to stimulate investments in the construction sector as a tool to refloat Europe’s economy.
April 2009 - On 29 April the European Commission publicly confirmed that the European cement industry qualifies as a sector vulnerable to carbon leakage under the criteria laid down in the revised Emission Trading Directive. The list publicised by the Commission is based on a quantitative assessment carried out by DG ENTR which looked at 231 sectors - not only ETSi sectors - at NACE 4 level. In total, 231 sectors were assessed.
August 2009 - The summer recess in Brussels typically shows a contrast between a very busy month of July, when the European Commission clean their desks, and a sleepy August when most Eurocrats enjoy a well deserved rest.
September 2009 - On 10 September 2009 ECOFYS, the consultant appointed by the European Commission to study benchmarks for the purpose of allocating free allowances, recommended the adoption, in the cement industry, of the EU-wide clinker benchmark supported by CEMBUREAU. Looking at the possibility to benchmark clinker or cement, ECOFYS opted for the first solution mainly on the ground of workability.
March 2009 - For some three years, the cement industry has been working hard to build a sectoral approach to reduce its CO2 emissions worldwide. The CSIi (the Cement Sustainability Initiative) is the pioneer in that respect and its leadership is being followed by a broader constituency of regional cement associations including CEMBUREAU in Europe.
October 2009 - In Europe, a clinker benchmark is the appropriate and only workable solution when it comes to the cement industry (in relation to the benchmark for free allocation of CO2 allowances in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme [ETSi]). In early November, this was confirmed by the publication of the ECOFYS report entitled “Methodology for the free allocation of emissions allowances in the EU-ETS post 2012”.
Brussels 23/01/08 – CEMBUREAU, the European Cement Industry Association, welcomes the measures, now written in the proposed Emission Trading Directive, in respect of energy intensive industries (EII) which are open to international competition and where there is a risk of carbon leakage for the period post 2012.
Brussels 16/07/08 – CEMBUREAU, the European Cement Association, supports, in principle, the objectives of the package on sustainable consumption and production launched today by the European Commission, in particular the aim to improve the overall environmental performance of products throughout their whole life-cycle. However, for construction this ambition appears to be limited as it addresses construction products individuall
Brussels 19/09/08 – CEMBUREAU, the European Cement Association, participated yesterday in an interesting debate on sustainable housing entitled ‘Towards a European policy for sustainable housing’ held at the European Parliament. This key event raised many important issues which require urgent attention at European Union level. Of notable importance is the need to take into consideration the whole–life cycle of a structure, rather than the individual products.
Brussels 7 October 2008 – Today, The Boston Consulting Group has published a study highlighting the impact of the 2013-2020 EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETSi) proposal on the European cement industry. This study, requested by CEMBUREAU, concludes that „clinker1 and cement production in the EU will be seriously affected by carbon leakage‟. As a consequence, the relocation of clinker production to countries with no carbon constraints will accelerate from 2013 and will continue in the following years.
Brussels 23 June 2009 – Experts predict an increase in extreme weather events, such as flooding, sea-level rises and natural disasters as a result of climate change, necessitating the construction of secure new buildings and infrastructure. It is therefore essential that industry, policymakers and other stakeholders work together to help Europe adapt to climate change.
Brussels 23/09/09 – CEMBUREAU, the European Cement Association, together with its National Associations and member companies, is pleased to announce the launch of its Cement Industry Open Week. From 23 September until 4 October, events are being held across Europe in order to highlight the invaluable role played by concrete in relation to sustainable construction.
Brussels 9 February 2009 – What has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions equivalent to that of 10 million cars (approximately the number of cars on the road in Spain)? How can more than 5 million tonnes of non renewable fossil fuels be saved? The answer is an existing technology: the co-processing of alternative fuels in the European cement industry.