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Germany, France, Aim to Fix Troubled EU Carbon Market Before Christmas

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The Europe Union’s two biggest member nations, Germany and France, have set a common deadline of the end of November for reforming the bloc’s troubled carbon emissions trading market.

France’s junior Ecology Minister, Brune Poirson, revealed the target after meetings with her German counterpart, Reuters reports.

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The European Union Emissions Trading System, introduced in 2005, was one of the world’s first to allow industries to sell or buy emission permits, and remains its largest (although China plans to introduce carbon trading this year). It covers “emissions from more than 11,000 heavy energy-using installations (power stations and industrial plants) and airlines operating between [EU] countries,” according to the EU’s website.

But the system has struggled to promote a robust price for carbon emissions, in part because of overly generous initial allowances of free permits to incumbent industries. Reports Reuters: “since the financial crisis of 2007-08, prices have tumbled from highs of more than 30 a tonne because of excess supply of permits.”

“France and Germany want an agreement on the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) carbon market ahead of a November climate change conference in Bonn,” the news agency said, citing a joint statement from the two governments.

The two countries said they also plan to test common calls for renewable energy tenders.