UPDATE 1-Most vulnerable EU industries need 100 pct free carbon-France

Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:34pm GMT
 

* European Commission is revising rules on free permits

* Environmentalists dispute 'carbon leakage' argument

* French minister backs testing carbon border adjustments (Adds quotes on border adjustment measures)

BRUSSELS, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Energy intensive industries most likely to leave the European Union because of costs should get all of their EU Emissions Trading System permits free until other major blocs have a carbon price in place, France's economy minister said on Monday.

The European Commission is revising its rules for handing out free permits to cushion energy intensive industries, such as the steel sector and oil refiners, from the expense of offsetting emissions on the ETS.

French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron was addressing a high-level debate hosted by the Commission in response to pressure from EU governments over the plight of the European steel industry.

Thousands of steel industry workers marched in Brussels on Monday to demand action to defend their jobs against competition from cheap Chinese imports, as well as higher energy costs in Europe, caused in part by the ETS.

Macron also backed proposals for border carbon adjustments - measures that would impose a tax on imports according to the emissions that went into their production, at the same price faced by domestic consumers - to level the playing field.

"It's the only deal that is in some way a win, win," he said.   Continued...

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