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Voluntary emissions directive best-Germany\'s VDEW

Voluntary emissions directive best-Germany\ s VDEW
FRANKFURT - Germany\'s power industry has only weeks to persuade the government to propose a voluntary, rather than binding, emissions trading directive, the power industry association VDEW said yesterday.
\"There is one main controversy left between the government and the power industry, which is whether the planned emissions trade should be binding or voluntary,\" the VDEW spokeswoman told Reuters. \"We will try to move the government to change its stance and propose a voluntary scheme at the meeting between EU ministers on December 9 and 10,\" she added. The proposed directive to be decided on by the EU ministers stipulates that most heavy industries should be granted emissions permits by their governments from 2005, setting ceilings on their greenhouse gases output. The plan already received a green light by the European Parliament two weeks ago. The policy to encourage firms to buy and sell the right to pollute according to their needs is a cornerstone of the EU\'s strategy to reduce greenhouse gases, blamed for trapping heat in the atmosphere, which it agreed to cut under the 1997 Kyoto treaty. In its coalition agreement, presented early last week, the newly elected German government supported the introduction of an emissions trading scheme, but along with the power industry demanded that emission reductions achieved since 1990 should be recognised. Germany reduced the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by nearly 19 percent between 1990 and 2000, almost hitting the 21 percent target it aims to reach between 2008-2012, VDEW figures show. The government and the power industry agree that the emissions permits granted by governments to industry should be free of charge and that the trade of permits between companies should be compatible with the Kyoto treaty. REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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