Iain Conn, Centrica Group Chief Executive was in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today to discuss the future of the EU carbon market, as European institutions reach a critical stage in negotiations on the reform of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
Along with the Chief Executives of Iberdrola, Engie, Fortum and Innogy, Iain called for measures to reduce the oversupply of carbon allowances in the system. The CO₂ price is currently below €6 per ton and doesn’t provide any incentives to invest in low-carbon technologies.
If the EU is serious about its COP21 commitment to keep temperature increases below 2 degrees, the EU ETS needs to deliver a more robust carbon price signal. Iain made some concrete proposals to achieve this and brought his experience of the UK market to the discussion. He particularly stressed that the doubling of the Carbon Floor Price in 2013 had resulted in a coal-to-gas switch in power generation, and to a 13.5% drop in carbon emissions in 2013-2015.
Finally, he made it clear that cooperation on energy and climate policy was mutually beneficial for the UK and the EU and supported the continued participation of the UK in the EU ETS after Brexit.
Iain Conn was also interviewed by the Brussels based news agency, Politico whilst he was at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. In this interview Iain said “when energy comes up in the Brexit negotiations, the U.K. should focus on three priorities: keeping a role in the EU’s energy discussions and maintaining existing policies, securing the country’s energy supplies by continuing to import from Europe, and making sure consumer energy costs don’t rise."