On November 30th, 2020, we ran a live online panel discussion concerning the re-design of the EU ETS in the wake of new, higher CO2 reduction targets being agreed by the EU. The target now stands at a 55% reduction c/w 1990 levels by 2030, up from 40%. A huge jump in order to keep in line with Paris commitments. The session was moderated by Matthew James, Managing Director at Energy Post and featured interventions from Andrei Marcu (Chairman at sustainable climate think-tank ERCST), Wanda Buk (Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs at event sponsor PGE POLAND), Adam Guibourgé-Czetwertyński (Deputy Climate Minister, POLAND), Hans Bergman (Head of Unit, DG CLIMA) and Ondřej Knotek (MEP, RENEW EUROPE).
Prior to the discussion, I asked Wanda Buk, Director of Regulatory Affairs at the Polish Energy Group (PGE Poland S.A.), to give the background to PGE’s interest in this debate:
“Only through common actions based on the spirit of solidarity can the EU achieve its long-term climate objectives without leaving anyone behind. In a strive to ensure affordable power prices and competitiveness of its industry, it must guarantee a fair transition for its citizens at the same time. This is why the EU ETS needs to be re-designed to spread the costs of necessary energy-related investments in a more balanced way for Member States with different starting points. Countries with low GDP per capita levels that still rely on coal for electricity and heat production like Poland need increased support from the Modernisation Fund and more targeted use of the auctioning revenues from increased “solidarity pool” to ensure implementation of the common climate target”
She continued “Together with our colleagues from the energy sector in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Romania we advocate for proportionally increased EU ETS-based compensatory mechanisms in order to establish a reliable enabling framework dedicated to Member States with low GDP per capita levels and significant investment needs in their effort to implement the increased 2030 targets. We specifically call for the Modernisation Fund to be proportionally increased to answer the additional effort to implement new climate commitments. Additionally, the “solidarity pool” of allowances under the EU ETS Directive should be increased significantly. The additional allowances dedicated to those mechanisms should be earmarked for investments in the energy sector in the eligible Member States”
Here is the un-edited recording of the ensuing discussion…