Kristian Ruby is secretary general of Eurelectric, the trade association representing the electricity industry at European level. Eurelectric published a set of recommendations for ETS trilogue negotiations in June.
EU member states in the Council agreed their position on the ETS reform in February, coming closer to the views of the European Parliament which was pushing for a more ambitious reform. How do you see this development as trilogue talks begin on Wednesday (13 September)?
Developments before the summer were indeed slightly surprising because what the Council agreed was even more ambitious than what the Parliament had voted.
Essentially, the Council put in place a provision that the surplus of allowances in the carbon market can never be bigger than the amount of allowances issued or auctioned the year before. So you’re essentially putting an overall cap on the volume of emission allowances, which is something new.
When the Council comes to the trilogue with an ambitious position, rather than pushing back against the European Parliament, it is a good sign. It may in the end not be the exact wording that the Council wants but the principles of taking targeted measures to avoid the emergence of a new structural surplus in the ETS is an ambition that is now shared among the two institutions. And surely the Commission will also be in favour of avoiding such a scenario.