Sunday 23rd October 2016                 Change text size:

Investors call for Emissions Trading Scheme fix

Photo: Rock Cohen via Flickr

The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) has called for the European Union to rescue its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) ahead of a meeting between ministers today.

The IIGCC, a coalition of European investors that focuses on climate change, collectively manages €7.5 trillion of assets, and has urged the EU to consider ETS repairs to ensure “continued viability”.

Launched in 2005 by the Kyoto Protocol, the ETS was devised to assist the EU in meeting its greenhouse gas emissions targets and is run by the European Commission.

The IIGCC proposes three changes to the scheme, which it hopes will secure longevity and continue to lower the EU’s emissions.

According to the press release, the group’s recommendations are:

  • A change in the overall level of ambition of the EU’s 2020 emissions target, with a commensurate change in the EU ETS allocations”—in fact, the group recommends, in line with a number of Member States, raising the emissions reduction target from 20% to 25–30%.
  • An immediate action to define and implement, as soon as possible, a one off set-aside of carbon credits in order to remove oversupply from the system”—a “set-aside” scheme would allow the EC to delay or save carbon allowance sales for a future date. The important absence of those credits from the market would push prices higher in the meantime.
  • Pre-agreed review processes to cope with unforeseen economic circumstances in future”.

EU ministers are set to meet today to discuss the future of the ETS, and the IIGCC hopes that their recommendations will help drive change.

The EU ETS was expected to support emission reductions by catalysing innovation and driving investment in low carbon solutions. This is not happening”, said Stephanie Pfeifer, executive director of the IIGCC.

With the potential for climate change to have major negative impacts on the economic systems in which they operate and on the assets in which they invest, investors are calling for decisive action.

When EU Ministers sit down to discuss the future of the carbon market at a meeting [today], we urge them to show leadership and implement measures which boost the carbon price and help stimulate private investment in low carbon solutions.”

Cutting carbon emissions should remain of high importance as the EU plans for a sustainable future. The growth of low-carbon, green companies is essential if we are to meet this target.

Climate change has moved from a fringe environmental concern to a serious consideration of investors; a sustainable future is the only one we have. Our recent Guide to Sustainable Investment features infographics, interviews and historical context to make sustainable investment accessible for you.

Once you’ve read that, we recommend you seek expert advice, so fill in our online form and we’ll put you in touch with a specialist financial adviser.

Further reading:

Local and regional carbon emissions: infographic analysis

FTSE 100 firms unprepared for climate change

Environmental ineptitude costing EU €50 billion

EU urged towards a green, sustainable economy

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