New climate group advises raising cost of carbon credits

Climate Change Advisory Council says EU trading scheme not working effectively

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme offers a market where heavy emitters are obliged to buy carbon credits, the price of which has fallen dramatically since 2008.  Photograph: Christophe Ena/AP

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme offers a market where heavy emitters are obliged to buy carbon credits, the price of which has fallen dramatically since 2008. Photograph: Christophe Ena/AP

 

The expert group which advises the Government on climate change has come out in favour of a minimum price for carbon under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

In the first advice to Government since it was established in January, the Climate Change Advisory Council has said the current price for carbon is too low.

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme provides a market where a price is put on greenhouse emissions. It relates to fossil-fuel burning energy companies and to heavy industry.

The idea behind the market is that heavy emitters would be obliged to purchase carbon credits. However, the EU recession resulted in the price of carbon falling dramatically.

The current price is 80 per cent lower than in 2008. It has been argued it does not provide sufficient incentive for companies to lower their emissions.

The chair of the Council, Professor John FitzGerald said: “The EU ETS is not working as well as it should. The current price for emissions is too low. Introducing a minimum price for the EU ETS would drive us towards a low carbon economy.”

Dr FitzGerald said a minimum price should help accelerate the shift away from fossil fuel use.