In the run-up to the World Climate Summit in Paris, energy-intensive industries in Germany (EID) have stated their expectations to an agreement: All decisive emitters (in particular the G-20 countries) should commit to comparable minimum contributions to reductions; also needed are uniform reporting standards for emissions; and finally an agreement should strive for international market mechanisms so that European emission trading can further evolve internationally.
Press Release by the Energy-Intensive Industries in Germany (EID)
“Since 1990 we have been strongly committed to climate protection. Since then, the energy-intensive industries of construction materials, chemistry, glass, non-ferrous metals, paper and steel have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by over 30 percent. But we also need a level playing field for European industry.” With this statement in the run-up to the World Climate Summit in Paris, EID spokesman Utz Tillmann advocated an ambitious climate agreement. He said to journalists in Berlin: “Energy-intensive industries in Europe meet their ambitious reduction targets – while politicians in many other parts of the world make hardly any climate protection requirements to their industries. This causes unequal competitive conditions. In the emission trading reform, European politicians should reliably prevent production relocations.”
According to EID spokesman Utz Tillmann, the negotiations in Paris are likely to bring a new climate agreement. However, it is emerging that the CO2 reduction promises of the inter¬national community of states will not be enough to reach the 2oC target. From industry’s perspective Tillmann (also director-general of the German Chemical Industry Association VCI) identified three prerequisites for the right framework, as it should be set in a Paris agreement: All decisive emitters need to commit to comparable reduction contributions. Most importantly, this includes all G-20 countries. Furthermore, all nations need to introduce uniform reporting standards for greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, an agreement should also strive for international market mechanisms, so that European emission trading can further evolve internationally.
Tillmann was sceptical of Paris fulfilling these prerequisites: “Just like politicians and NGOs, we have great expectations to the Climate Summit. A functioning climate protection system is in place in Europe. We are hoping for other regions to follow this example. But there are not enough signals of the Paris Summit being able to lead the European Union out of its climate policy isolation.”
Therefore, European industry will remain saddled with cost burdens that do not exist anywhere else globally. Against this backdrop, Tillmann urged for an effective protection of Europe’s competitiveness.
EID managing director Jörg Rothermel pointed out that there are hardly any regions worldwide where energy-intensive industries have to take concrete climate protection measures with tangible targets. A climate protection regime that comprises the entire manufacturing industry is established only in Europe. The European Commission is currently working on a further tightening of emission trading, planning yet stricter rules to enter into force in 2021.
Rothermel anticipated that German energy-intensive industries could be faced with extra costs of over 5 billion euros annually. So far, the European Commission has found no answers to the carbon leakage problem, i.e. the relocation of productions for cost reasons. Rothermel: “It simply cannot be that even the most climate-efficient installations in Europe will have to bear much higher costs in the future; costs that threaten their economic viability. Therefore, it is essential that the Commission corrects its draft with European competitive¬ness in mind.”
Press Release of Chemie³, the Sustainability Initiative of the German Chemical Industry