German Economy Minister Still Opposes Carbon Permit Supply Fix

Germany’s Economy Ministry remains opposed to a European Union plan to curb an oversupply of allowances in the world’s biggest emissions-trading market by delaying the sale of some carbon permits from next year.

While Environment Minister Peter Altmaier supports the proposal by the European Commission to delay auctions of 900 million carbon permits starting in 2013 after the price of allowances sank to a record in April, Economy Minister Philipp Roesler still opposes such a move, his spokesman said today in Berlin.

At stake is the price of emission permits, which plunged to a record 5.99 euros ($7.73) in April as the economic crisis hurt industrial output. The downturn boosted the surplus of allowances to almost half of the average annual pollution limit in the 27-nation EU.

Roesler “has made it clear that, for him, a reduction in emissions rights is out of the question,” as it may hurt the domestic economy and jobs, Holger Schlienkamp, the minister’s spokesman, told a regular government news conference.

The conflict raises uncertainty over the fate of the measure aimed at supporting prices in the world’s biggest emissions market. If the German government fails to reach a joint position, Europe’s biggest polluter may abstain in any voting on the issue and therefore fail to back the proposal, Roesler’s ministry said last month.

Both ministries remain in talks and Altmaier will “advocate that there will be an agreement,” Frauke Stamer, a spokeswoman for the environment minister, told the same news conference.

EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard has said she aims for a decision on the measure before the end of this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at

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