Kadri Simson: ETS revision might include buildings and road transport

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The European Commission’s upcoming June package of energy and climate laws will “propose the extension of the emission trading scheme to sectors such as building and road transport,” the EU’s energy commissioner Kadri Simson said.

The inclusion of both road transport and buildings into the EU’s cap and trade scheme for greenhouse gas emissions has been mooted ever since the new Commission took office, in December 2019, according to Euractiv.com.

However, the official line until now was that officials were looking into the pros and cons of the proposal, with the results of that assessment due to be unveiled officially in June.

In a keynote address to a debate on clean technology organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Brussels, Simson appeared to confirm that the Commission will indeed propose to extend the ETS to include buildings and transport.

The EU’s June package “will include revising our legislation for energy efficiency and renewables in line with our new ambitions” for 2030, Simson said.

“It will also provide for measures to support sustainable mobility and propose the extension of the emission trading scheme to sectors such as building and road transport,” she said in a prepared statement, adding the proposal “will be complemented by a review of energy taxation and a carbon border adjustment mechanism” to address the risk that companies relocate abroad.

However, speaking later in the afternoon at the annual conference of trade association Eurogas, the Commission’s executive vice-president for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, seemed to contradict Simson, saying: “Will we extend ETS to transport and buildings? It’s still being analysed.”

Timmermans has said publicly that he is personally against including road transport in the ETS because it risks pushing up fuel prices and hurt the poor disproportionately.

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