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European Climate Officials Fully Support the EU ETS

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European officials have reaffirmed their commitment to the EU ETS as the centerpiece of the bloc’s decarbonization strategy, rejecting calls from some member states to set a cap on the cost of carbon amid the ongoing energy crisis.

EU officials reaffirmed strong support for the EU ETS, with the European Commission’s president, Ursula Von Der Layen, saying, “Europe needs the EU ETS.” The carbon price makes up "only 6% [of the cost of electricity],” von der Leyen said, dismissing a Polish media campaign that suggested that carbon accounts for up to 25% of the cost.

Von der Leyen also rejected the suggestion that rising EUA prices were responsible for soaring energy costs across the EU. “The real driver for the increase of electricity prices is somewhere else,” she told the Baltic Sea Summit last week, highlighting that power prices are being boosted almost exclusively by the soaring price of natural gas.

This comes in light of surging carbon prices and exceedingly high-power prices across Europe amid soaring natural gas and coal prices largely resulting from the conflict in Ukraine.

EU carbon prices have risen by 0.2% during 2022, as of Sep 1’s closing price. Over the same time, German baseload power and TTF natural gas prices for 2023 have skyrocketed by nearly 320%, and coal is not far behind, gaining 250% this year.

"Europe's reliance on fossil fuels for energy, not carbon prices, is the reason why our energy bills are sky-high," said Ember's European program lead Charles Moore.