Official EU petition calls for minimum carbon price

(EurActiv, 3 Jul 2019) The European Commission registered an official petition on Wednesday (3 July) that calls on the EU executive to set up a minimum carbon price, “discourage the consumption of fossil fuels” and keep global warming to below 1.5 degrees.

If at least one million EU citizens from seven countries sign the initiative within one year then the Commission will be required to provide a response.

The ‘A price for carbon to fight climate change‘ Citizens’ Initiative wants the EU executive to propose new rules that would slash fossil fuel use, encourage the uptake of renewable power sources and boost energy saving measures.

The organisers suggest that a minimum price on carbon and scrapping free permits offered by the emissions trading scheme should be the way forward.

Carbon pricing is currently dictated by market forces and today is worth just under €27 per tonne. Mark Lewis, an expert with the Carbon Tracker Initiative, estimates that the ETS would have to hit €50 for polluting countries to start investing in cleaner technology.

Plans are afoot in the Netherlands to impose a minimum €30 per tonne levy on industry in 2021 and for it to gradually rise to between €125-€150, according to a climate plan published by the government on 28 June.

In an annual stock-take released in September, the OECD estimates that there is a pricing gap of 76.5% in its 42 member countries, which means that prices are “still too low to have a significant impact on curbing climate change”.

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EurActiv, 3 Jul 2019: Official EU petition calls for minimum carbon price