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E.U. steel groups to take carbon permit benchmark dispute to court

09/04/2011 Comments off

European flag outside the Commission

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The European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries said it will question in court the legality of the European Commission’s proposed benchmarks for assigning free carbon permits when it gets approved this month, saying it deviates from European Union’s rules at a high expense for the industry.

Gordon Moffat, director general of industry representative Eurofer, said the commission’s benchmarks for steelmaking was set too high, making it impossible even for the most efficient steel companies to secure free carbon permits in the third phase of the European Union’s emissions trading system.

In response, the commission said it is confident that the European courts will rule in its favor, its spokesman saying the benchmarks were approved by a majority of European Union member states.

‘Unachievable’

Under the third carbon trading period, running from 2013 to 2020, the commission will give free carbon credits to qualified companies in carbon intensive sectors such as steel to prevent them from relocating abroad, where they may operate under less stringent policies. Read more…

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