German Greens propose emissions trading group

Pilot scheme to gather experience before EU plan should be part of national climate strategy

The German Green party has proposed creating a national greenhouse gas emissions trading group of four or five large companies by the middle of 2001, in order to gain experience before an EU-wide scheme is introduced in 2005.

Trading in emissions permits is controversial in Germany and has been regarded with "political scepticism" until now, according to the party's environment spokesman Reinhard Loske. The party's proposal, unveiled yesterday, represents a shift in political thinking. Emissions trading is now "a development not to be stopped" and Germany should "no longer be critical [of emissions trading]," according to a party official. The party wants its plan to become part of the national climate strategy, due for publication in September. It has written to all of the ministries involved in its preparation.

The European Commission suggested an EU emissions trading scheme, initially only for carbon dioxide in a climate strategy released in March (ENDS Daily 8 March). This is meant to enable the EU to gather experience before a global scheme starts in 2008. Further details of how such a scheme could function will be discussed at the sixth conference of parties to the UN climate change convention in The Hague in November.

The government's minority coalition partner wants to see a national pilot scheme modelled on a UK emissions trading group, which is due to start next April (ENDS Daily 27 October 1999). An official told ENDS Daily that BP, Shell, Deutsche Bank and some energy supply companies were already keen to take part. Norway (ENDS Daily 9 May) and Denmark have also progressed plans for national trading schemes.

Follow Up:
German Greens in Parliament, tel: +49 30 22 75 55 18.

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