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Power chief: Carbon credits face a ‘junk bond’ future

January 30, 2013
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Source: Euractive

Europe is staring at a ‘lost decade’ that will make decarbonisation impossible and reduce carbon credits to the value of ‘junk bonds’ unless politicians back a carbon market reform package, the head of Europe’s electricity industry association has told EurActiv.

Last week, MEP’s on the European parliament’s industry (ITRE) committee rejected a proposal to firm up carbon prices by withholding – or ‘backloading’ – 900 million EU allowances from the 2020 auctioning period.

Analysts expect a narrow majority for action in key votes on the parliament’s environment committee on 19 February and, crucially, in a plenary later this Spring.

But Hans ten Berge, secretary-general of Eurelectric, warned that “if we choose the strategy of a lost decade then we are going for a collapse of the carbon market and it will be impossible to achieve the 2050 decarbonisation targets.”

Carbon prices, which are supposed to entice low-carbon investments, plunged to a record low of just €2.81 per tonne after the ITRE committee vote, down from a peak of €32 in April 2006. But ten Berge said that the price could yet fall further.

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