Commission to announce ETS rescue plan this week

The European Commission (EC) will announce plans this week to withhold carbon allowances to support Europe’s struggling Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which has experienced a collapse in prices due to oversupply, reports Reuters.

At a meeting this Wednesday (25 July), the European Union's (EU) executive will adopt a proposal clarifying an article of the ETS law on the timing of permit auctions.

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, a Commission spokesperson, said the EC would also "transmit to member states a draft for a future adaptation of the timing when emissions allowances would be auctioned".

She added that all interested parties would be able to express their views on the proposal for the delaying of carbon allowance auctions, known as ‘backloading’.

 The Commission has not given any indication of how long the process will take, but Reuters reports that sources confirm the hope to use a streamlined EU procedure for the backloading proposal, which will allow it to be completed within months.

  The legal amendment could also be agreed through an accelerated procedure, lasting months rather than years, provided that there is political will, reports Reuters.

  Wednesday’s announcement follows a pledge given by Connie Hedegaard, the climate commissioner, that she would devise a plan before the August recess in Brussels, when the European Parliament and the Commission suspend work for up to a month.

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