1 June 2013
EuLA supports the Commission in its efforts to reach an international climate agreement that aims at creating a global level playing field for companies and that contributes to avoiding carbon leakage.
An international climate agreement can however only be effective if it contains legally binding reduction targets, and results in equivalent CO2 reductions (as measured by a sector’s marginal abatement cost).
Abatement costs will be largely influenced by the availability and cost of a low carbon fuel mix. Current gas prices in the US are for example 3 to 4 times lower than the prices that are paid by European producers. These price differences have to be taken into account when evaluating the efforts made by other countries.
EuLA has the impression that the Commission mainly focusses on the efforts made by large economies or upcoming economic powers. Up till today however most lime products are not transported over long distances. This means that the lime industry’s main competitors are located in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood (Turkey, Northern Africa, Ukraine, Russia, etc.). In order to foster a level playing field, the Commission should especially pay attention to the efforts made by those countries surrounding the EU-27.
The EU should also consider integrating “energy” and “climate” requirements in any international agreements with its trade partners. “Energy and climate” clauses should for example be part of any Free Trade Agreement, especially if the trading partner in question has not assumed any carbon reduction commitments – or has access to a relatively cheap low-carbon fuel mix. “Climate and energy” targets could also be further promoted by means of the EU Neighborhood policy.