Total, Dow Call for EU Emissions Policy That Restores Investment

Jan 16, 2014 7:17 am ET

Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Total SA, Dow Chemical Co. and 12 other manufacturers called on the European Commission to include a single emissions-reduction target and compensation for energy and climate-protection measures through 2030.

“The price for carbon, renewables surcharges and other taxes and levies should not be used to transfer the cost of the energy transition onto manufacturing industries, the backbone of Europe’s economy,” executives of the companies told commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in a letter dated yesterday. It was posted on Twitter today by Solvay SA, the Belgian chemical maker and one of the companies that signed the letter.

The European Union’s Brussels-based executive arm plans to propose its energy and climate policy package for 2030 on Jan. 22. BusinessEurope, the lobby group of industrial companies in 35 countries, said last week that Europe’s climate-protection policies contributed to a 37 percent jump in power prices in 2005-2012, compared with a decline of 4 percent in the U.S. in the same period.

The decade through 2030 should include “full direct and indirect compensation allowing for growth of our industry,” executives of the 14 companies said in yesterday’s letter. They “are worried about our immediate and long-term future in Europe. We ask for a strong political signal in order to mobilize further investments in the EU.”

The letter was also signed by executives of energy- intensive companies including steelmaker ArcelorMittal, BASF SE in Germany and Lafarge SA in France.

The EU may consider two main options, which are setting a carbon-reduction target alone or agreeing on a set of binding emissions-cut and renewable-energy goals, according to a draft assessment of the impact of the new framework by the commission.

Under the first scenario, the goal may be lowering carbon discharges by 40 percent in 2030 compared with 1990 levels. The second option would include a 40 percent emissions-reduction goal with a 30 percent target for renewables or cutting greenhouse gases by 45 percent and boosting the share of renewable energy by 35 percent.

--Editors: Andrew Reierson, John Deane