Europe’s Biggest Energy Users Oppose Fast-Track Carbon Glut Fix

The biggest energy users among European companies urged lawmakers in a letter today to avoid fast-track approval of a proposal to tackle a record oversupply of carbon permits that has divided policy makers.

The European Parliament’s environment committee yesterday delayed a decision on whether to start accelerated talks with European Union governments on a law change that would enable curbing a glut of emission permits that pushed prices to a record low. The negotiations should start only after a debate in the full Parliament, the Alliance of Energy Intensive Industries, which represents companies including ArcelorMittal (MT), said in the letter obtained by Bloomberg News.

At stake is the EU’s 54 billion-euro ($72 billion) cap-and- trade system, which imposes emission limits on about 12,000 power plants and factories in industries ranging from paper to steel. The benchmark carbon contract slumped from an all-time high of 31 euros a metric ton in 2006 to as low as 2.81 euros last month, a price the European Commission said was too low to stimulate green investment.

“The plenary debate, followed by a vote, would allow all members of the European Parliament to express their views and provide required political support for the final decision,” the AEII said in the letter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ewa Krukowska in Brussels at ekrukowska@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jones Hayden at jhayden1@bloomberg.net

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