EU to launch ‘adjacent’ carbon market for transport, buildings

(EurActiv, 13 May 2021) A senior EU official on Tuesday (11 May) defended European Commission plans to extend the bloc’s carbon market to road transport, arguing that revenues generated could be used to offset the effects of higher fuel prices on the poorest in society.

Diederik Samsom, the chief of staff of EU climate chief Frans Timmermans, suggested that an “adjacent system” to the current Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) – the EU’s carbon market – would be established for road transport and buildings.

A review of the ETS will officially be unveiled on 14 July as part of a broader package of legislation aimed at reaching the EU’s tougher climate goals for 2030.

And even though the EU executive refuses to confirm the ETS extension to transport and buildings, Samsom’s remarks are in line with previous comments from the European Commission.

Timmermans previously said he was personally against including road transport in the ETS because it risks pushing up fuel prices and hurt the poor disproportionately.

But Samsom vigorously defended the plans, citing three reasons why it would make sense.

“The advantages of the ETS are it will deliver you to the [climate] target, it will incentivise the right players in the system, and it will create revenues to guarantee a just transition,” he argued.

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EurActiv, 13 May 2021: EU to launch ‘adjacent’ carbon market for transport, buildings