WV Stahl criticises EU’s cut in emissions certificates

German steel industry association WV Stahl has criticised the European Commission’s decision to reduce the number of free emissions certificates allocated to the steel industry by around 12%.

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WV Stahl’s remarks, made in a statement released on Friday September 6, concern the Commission’s decision on September 5 relating to member states’ national implementation measures for phase three (2013-20) of the EU emissions trading system (ETS), which controls how many emissions certificates will be allocated for free.

This decision “is not related” to the proposal approved in July this year to allow the commission to temporarily withhold, or “backload”, the sale of 900 million ETS allowances between 2013 and 2020, according to a European Commission statement.

The reduced number of freely allocated certificates means Germany’s steel industry will have to buy around 30% of its certificates, according to WV Stahl president Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff.

“The current allocation of certificates for the steel industry is already below the technically feasible minimum,” Kerkhoff said.

“Against the background of an already economically difficult environment, the steel industry in Germany and Europe will be dealt a further blow,” he added.

The allocation of free certificates would be decided by a “cross-sectoral correction factor”, because the amount of enterprises that qualified for free certificates exceeded the amount of allowances available in 2013.

“Behind the innocuous technical term ‘cross-sectoral correction factor’ is nothing more than a large further tightening of emissions trading,” Kerkhoff added.

“I urge the European Commission to withdraw its decision and to check again in a transparent way,” he concluded.