EurActiv - Letters to the Editor


Regarding ‘Brussels to play down ‘carbon leakage’ threat‘:

We should call the bluff that industry is playing on carbon leakage.

It would be more in our interests to encourage inefficient, energy-intensive, EU ETS-subsidised [European Emissions Trading Scheme] companies to exit Europe, because it could:

1) Reduce the EU’s carbon footprint rapidly and significantly.

2) Reduce the amount of primary energy needed by the EU (reduced strategic exposure).

3) Have a minimal impact on employment.

4) Cause new, more efficient plants to be built elsewhere, thus reducing the overall global footprint (energy prices are global and so effciency will be maximised in the new plant).

5) Allow the products imported from the exiting companies to be carbon taxed more easily because they are non-domestic and compete with those companies that stay (let’s call it a ‘black mark tax’).

6) Allow the saved carbon credits to be used to subsidise consumers wishing to purchase the MOST efficient major domestic appliances, boilers, home insulation, EU-produced electric cars, etc.

7) Should all that be unpalatable, then as a minimum, heavily tax the profits that companies make from EU ETS trading and use the proceeds to support smart grids and smart meters, home insulation and other future scoped efficiency programs.

At least then the ordinary EU citizen would benefit from, rather than pay for (directly or indirectly), the EU ETS.

Author :


  1. I would like to pose a question to this letter:

    What if the industry you are talking about is the cement industry, the chemical industry or the refinery and elecctrical factory?
    Most of their products are primary products you cannot live without, and most of all these products are required by international markets which would put less taxes on their import rather than the EU due to Green labelling.

    You would have built a big risk in that you do not control directly these products and of course they could be located at boarder countries, meaning that our CO2 or greenhouse gases would still flow but with no standard or control.

    Would you be taxing import of elecctricity? If you need it desperattely you won’t. Would you be taxiing imports of petrol or diesel, no yu would only pass on the taxes to the EU citizen.

    The question is control, whatever is in the EU will be subjected to EU control and standards, whatever is outside will need tough negotiations which Copenhagen has shown to be hard, harsh and difficult.

    There is much talk about electric vehicles, it has been going on for the past 20 or more years. Todays grid cannot support total elecctric vehicles for recharging. Thus what we need is elecctric autosufficency this should be one of first objectives of Europe: carbon leakage would only make things worse (i.e what happened with the Ukraine gas example).

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