Decarbonising European industry

The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is currently Europe’s only tool to decarbonise its industrial sectors, but it has so far failed at its task. Industrial emissions in Europe are actually increasing, and no emission cuts are foreseen in the period up to 2030, or beyond.

The main problems are the low carbon price and the excessive handouts of free pollution permits to industries that have led to a situation where the biggest polluters are able to make profits from the system.

Full industrial decarbonisation of the steel, cement and chemicals sectors is both necessary and feasible in order to meet the Paris climate goals and to enable a thriving industry in a climate-safe future. This requires a change in the current regulatory framework in which innovators struggle to get access to the market dominated by incumbents that are reluctant to change their profitable and highly-polluting business models.

Carbon Market Watch calls for a zero-carbon industrial strategy to bring industry in line with the Paris climate goals, including proposals for new regulatory and financial instruments to drive emissions reductions from European heavy industry.