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No. 085/04 | Berlin, 30.03.2004

Trittin: A difficult but stable compromise

Federal Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin on the result of top-level negotiations on the implementation of the EU Emissions Trading Directive:

The result of yesterday's negotiations is in part a difficult compromise which requires substantial concessions from all stakeholders. Still, I support this compromise, since it makes clear what is at stake:

1. All sectors of society must contribute to climate protection. The compromise agreed upon prevents certain sectors of industry withdrawing from climate protection. Out of the 17 million tonnes of CO2 emissions which Germany has to reduce by 2012 to meet its Kyoto Protocol commitments, a share of 10 million tonnes must come from industry and the energy sector. The remaining 7 million tonnes of emissions reductions will have to be borne by private households and the transport sector. This distribution of the burden constitutes a reversal of the current trend.

2. The overall emissions volume in the first trading period from 2005 to 2007 amounts to 503 million tonnes of CO2. The demand-oriented allocation of emissions permits requested by industry will not materialise. From the first trading period industry must reduce its emissions by 2.2 percent. Since this reduction commitment of industry is effective as from now, genuine emissions trading can start right away.

3. In the second trading period from 2008 to 2012 emissions from the energy sector and industry will be limited to 495 million tonnes of CO2 - this will be accompanied by a review clause for 2006. Thus Germany is the only country which is already committing itself to a clear figure for the second trading period.

4. This compromise will trigger a thrust of renewal and modernisation measures in existing power plants - to the benefit of the environment, economic growth and employment. There is an attractive allowance transfer provision (if old installations are replaced, allowances may be kept for 4 years, followed by a 14-year exemption from reduction commitments). Very old and inefficient installations will be subject to additional reduction commitments in the second trading period. Again, this will be a trigger for innovation and an incentive for investments in Germany.

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