EU starch industry welcomes Commission’s announcement on ETS and carbon leakage

aaf2012bxlThe European Starch Industry Association (AAF) has strongly welcomed the endorsement of 9 July, by the Climate Change Committee*, of the Commission’s decision not to change the criteria for the eligibility of EU industry sectors that are covered by the EU Emission Trading Scheme to be in the carbon leakage list. The Commission’s proposal means that EU starch plants covered by the EU ETS (50% of plants) will continue to receive free CO2 emission allowances until 2019.

EU starch producers need a stable policy framework to plan investments that will allow them both to increase their energy efficiency and to remain competitive compared to non-EU competitors facing less stringent climate policies. Energy represents 15% of the operating cost for the starch industry, second only to the cost of raw materials. The EU starch industry has already achieved significant efforts towards energy efficiency, best illustrated by the wide use of combined heat and power generation (CHP – cogeneration) for the production of the heat and electricity used in starch plants. These efforts will continue.

Responding to the Commission decision, AAF Managing Director Jamie Fortescue said: “On 22 January this year the Commission adopted its communications on a ‘2030 framework for climate and energy policies’ and ‘For a European Industrial Renaissance’ which reconfirms the target of 20% of EU GDP coming from industry by 2020. Today’s decision on the ETS scheme is further confirmation that the EU Commission understands that a pre-requisite for any EU industrial renaissance is a policy framework which does not further disadvantage EU industrial companies trying to compete with international competitors with significantly lower energy costs.

“We fully support efforts to improve energy efficiency globally and would stress the importance of linking EU energy and climate policies with international agreements on climate actions. This is crucial to avoid seeing energy intensive industries, like starch, leave the EU to produce in other parts of the world where climate and energy policies are less stringent. Such a scenario would not only see the EU starch industry weakened but also global emissions increase.”

*Endorsement by the Climate Change Committee was a pre-requisite for the Commission to officially submit its proposal for scrutiny to the European Parliament and the Council – after this three months scrutiny, the Commission should then adopt its Decision.

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Category: A Frontpage, Biodiversity, Climate change, CO2 emissions, Environment, European Commission

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