This week, the rapporteur of the European Parliament’s Environment committee (Ian Duncan) published his draft report on the EU’s carbon market reform, kicking off the legislative debate. Disappointingly, the proposal fails to address the most pressing issues that need fixing in order to make the EU ETS fit-for-purpose and in line with the Paris climate agreement.
This policy brief interprets the findings of a new study by CE Delft that shows how energy-intensive companies in 19 European countries have massively profited from their pollution because they are deemed to be at risk of “carbon leakage”. “Carbon leakage” refers to a hypothetical situation where companies transfer production to countries with weaker climate policies in order to lower their costs. Under the current EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) rules, industrial companies that are believed to be at risk of “carbon leakage” are awarded free pollution permits.