EU’s emissions trading scheme must be reformed: Polish PM
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Monday stated that the European Union’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) had become a tool for speculation and must be reformed.
In a column written exclusively for the euractiv.com website, Morawiecki noted that one of the “crucial decisions” facing the EU was “what to do about the CO2 emissions trading scheme.”
The Polish PM argued that the current concept of ETS was “flawed” and “instead of serving a sustainable and equitable climate policy, CO2 emissions trading has become a tool for speculation.”
The PM emphasised that there had been an “out of control”increase in emission prices, which had led to “a drastic increase in energy bills.”
The new situation is “hitting the household budgets of EU citizens,” Morawiecki wrote, adding that it “threatens the financial security of ordinary people, which has already suffered from the pandemic crisis.”
“Above all,” the PM wrote, “it undermines citizens’ confidence in the EU’s climate policy concept.”
Morawiecki stated he agreed with the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that ‘the rising price of certificates is a strong economic incentive for companies to become more efficient and switch to clean production.”
However, he noted, “a rapid rise in prices” imposes “a pace that threatens” the growth of firms.
“Stable and predictable prices are crucial for a responsible transition,” Morawiecki emphasised, adding that “the rise in energy prices is also being escalated by the Russian geopolitical game.”
“Therefore, I consider it necessary to carry out a profound reform of the ETS system,“ the Polish PM wrote, “which will take into account the current situation on the energy market and the market for emission allowances, as well as the conclusions of the European Council of December 2021.”
He added: “The ETS needs to be changed also so that the path no longer resembles Bitcoin, where we see a lot of speculation. Such an economy is not healthy, as it is our citizens who pay for it in the first place.”
Morawiecki stated it was vital that the EU reduced CO2 emissions. “But we must remember that emissions’ reduction is not an end in itself,” he added, “The goal is to build clean, liveable cities for all of us.”
At the same time, “care for the environment must serve people, not generate costs they cannot bear,” the PM stressed.
“Without the trust of EU citizens, no policy can be made. This also applies to climate policy,” Morawiecki concluded.