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EU ministers to discuss ETS speculation on Wednesday


04 Oct 2021 11:14

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Siobhan Hall


04 Oct 2021 11:14

(Montel) EU environment ministers are set to discuss speculation in the bloc's carbon market as part of a debate on high energy prices on Wednesday, with Poland and Spain pushing for curbs.

“We urgently need to reduce the influence of financial market participants on ETS allowance prices,” said the Polish government in a note to the ministers ahead of the meeting.

Spain has also circulated its views to ministers, including that “speculators with market power” should not have access to the ETS.

This follows Spain’s letter to the European Commission in September to make the same points.

The current dramatic rise in energy prices meant national governments needed flexibility to introduce quick, temporary measures to protect recipients and ensure fair treatment of enterprises.,” said Poland in the note.

European gas prices came close to record highs on Monday, on continued global supply concerns and cooler weather.

Poland cited several factors behind the recent energy price spikes, including “questionable practices of the dominant gas supplier to the EU,” without directly naming Russia’s Gazprom, the EU’s single largest external supplier.

Poland said that leaving existing gas transport capacity “largely unused” in times of high demand was “a clear sign of market manipulation” and “a foretaste” of what the EU could expect in future.

Gazprom has exported less gas than expected at times through the Mallnow entry point in Germany, prompting surges in TTF prices.

It has also not bought more transit capacity to Europe via Ukraine despite shortage fears, and has switched some supplies from via Ukraine to via its new TurkStream link with Turkey.

Wider debate

EU environment ministers are scheduled to debate energy prices as an added agenda item at the end of their meeting.

They were already scheduled to discuss the EC’s proposed changes to the EU ETS as part of its Fit for 55 package of draft legislation on Wednesday morning.

The package sets out measures to help the EU achieve its binding goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% from 1990 levels by 2030.

This is a corrected version of earlier story which erronously stated the meeting would be held on Tuesday.

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