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A letter to the editor of "The Wall Street Journal" by Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard


Your Feb. 2 editorial, "Europe's Emissions Trading Scams," represents the latest attempt to discredit Europe's Emissions Trading System.

The ETS is a trading system intended to reduce the carbon pollution that is threatening to wreak environmental havoc and undermine global growth. By capping emissions, the ETS puts a price on carbon, which leaves companies with a fair choice: either they invest in new, cleaner technology or they pay for their pollution. The merit of this system is that it directs investments where they give most bang for the buck.

And the system works. On Jan. 31, an independent study based on interviews with 800 manufacturing companies conducted by the London School of Economics and two other universities concluded that the ETS has been "an essential and effective policy instrument in Europe though a number of adjustments to the scheme, as well as complementary policies, will be needed to accelerate low-carbon investment". There's no way of denying it: the ETS has brought carbon costs into the board rooms.

Yes, some member states have had issues with security. The decision to shut down spot trading (less than one fifth of the market) was made exactly to ensure that member states deal with these security issues. But just to put things into perspective: the thefts constitute less than 0.02%ent of the allowances in the market.

Connie Hedegaard

EU Commissioner for Climate Action


Article published at The Wall Street Journal

Last update: 27/06/2013 | Top