EU Eyes Interlinked Carbon Markets From California to China

The European Union wants to work on a plan to introduce a global system of carbon markets to help reduce heat-trapping gases and encourage investment in clean technologies, according to EU energy union chief Maros Sefcovic.

“We’re ready to explore with our international partners like China, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, California and South Korea the possibilities of a global system of linked markets,” Sefcovic, who is European Commission Vice President for Energy Union, said in an interview on Thursday in Brussels.

The EU runs the world’s biggest emissions-trading system, which covers around 12,000 installations owned by utilities and manufacturers as well as airlines. The market is the 28-nation bloc’s flasghip tool to meet its targets to reduce pollution by 20 percent in 2020 compared with 1990 levels and at least 40 percent by 2030.

Sefcovic said he raised future linkages among emissions trading systems in talks with representatives of global companies during UN climate summit in Paris in December. Under a climate deal reached at the gathering, almost 200 countries agreed work toward capping global temperature increases since pre-industrial times to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

The companies “told me it would be great because it could be the ingredient of the future global carbon system,” Sefcovic said. “We definitely want to work on our proposal and look for the ways how we can introduce the links and possible cooperation with other systems in the future.”