Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s view on the European Union’s emissions trading system “is the same as” Environment Minister Peter Altmaier’s, who advocates strengthening the program, a coalition lawmaker said.
Altmaier and Economy Minister Philipp Roesler have been at odds over a stop-gap measure proposed by the European Commission to curb oversupply in the bloc’s carbon market. Altmaier favors temporarily delaying the sale of 900 million carbon permits to raise prices, a practice dubbed backloading. Roesler opposes any market intervention, saying it could hurt the German economy.
It’s a “myth” that repairing the ETS is “anti- business,” Christian Ruck, deputy chairman of Merkel’s and Altmaier’s ruling Christian Democratic bloc in parliament, told reporters today in Berlin. “Whoever torpedoes this reform is complicit in the impact of climate change.”
A spokesman for Merkel’s chancellery declined to comment on her position and the state of the talks between the two ministries when contacted by phone today. A coalition meeting that was to discuss the ETS today was canceled, the spokesman said. Germany may abstain in any vote on the issue in Europe if Altmaier and Roesler fail to reach an agreement, the Economy Ministry has said. A spokesman for the Economy Ministry couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
EU carbon allowances for delivery in December jumped as much as 12.5 percent to 5.03 euros ($6.58) following Ruck’s comments, posting the biggest intra-day gain in two weeks. The contracts are still 26.5 percent down this year amid concerns that backloading may fail to win support from EU governments and the bloc’s Parliament.
While there are more supporters than opponents of the proposal among EU member states, the backing is short of a qualified majority as Germany and several other nations remain undecided, three EU officials with knowledge of the matter said last month. Undecided countries include the Czech Republic, Portugal, Malta, Hungary and Greece.
The EU proposal to temporarily reduce the glut by delaying auctions of some permits has divided European lawmakers, industry and not least the German government.
While Ruck said he’s in favor of continuing in a coalition with Roesler’s pro-business Free Democratic Party, “one has agreed that one must make important climate and energy policy decisions and if those decisions can’t be made, then this model has no future.”
--With assistance from Ewa Krukowska in Brussels. Editors: Leon Mangasarian, Andrew Reierson.