The European Union is pushing ahead with plans to address climate change, but the chemical industry is warning that these plans would place a unilateral burden on it that could damage its ability to cut emissions.
European chemical associations are particularly concerned that as the EU Emission Trading Scheme becomes more stringent, the industry will be put at a competitive disadvantage. A further 21% reduction in the number of CO2 permits available is planned for 2013.
Full auctioning of permits is targeted by 2020, with no free permits available for energy intensive users.
Ambitious measures to cut greenhouse gases are expected to be put in place by April 2009 and will require the EU to cut greenhouse emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by 2020. The agreement will also require the EU to increase the energy generated from renewables to 20% and push biofuel use to 10% by 2020.
The pact to cut EU greenhouse gas emissions was agreed in early 2007, but decisions on how the burden would be spread between the member states, which have widely varying levels of development, still need to be hammered out.