Poland is insisting there should not be any “administrative meddling” that would prop up prices in the European Union’s carbon market – the world’s largest – on the eve of a special meeting on the troubled Emissions Trading Scheme.
According to a paper prepared for the meeting, the Poles intend to fight off moves by other countries to tackle the collapse in the price of permits traded in the system. Instead, Warsaw is proposing steps that would in some cases depress the cost further.
EU environment ministers will discuss the problems in the bloc’s ETS in Denmark on Thursday.
It has been billed as an informal meeting that will not produce any firm policy statements. But carbon businesses and traders are watching carefully for signs of how ministers might eventually address one of the most damaging periods in the seven-year-old scheme – the centrepiece of European policy to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Poland, which generates about 90 per cent of its electricity from carbon-intensive coal plants, has long opposed measures that would help prop up carbon prices, such as strengthening the EU’s 2020 target of reducing its emissions by 20 per cent from 1990 levels.
In its paper for the meeting, Warsaw argues that the market’s woes simply reflect turmoil in the EU economy.
“We cannot judge effectiveness of the ETS by the price, just like we cannot judge the efficiency of windmills by their looks,” the paper says.