World’s largest carbon market faces revamp under EU plan

The EU is hoping to meet emissions targets by reducing greenhouse gas output. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 13 September 2020

World’s largest carbon market faces revamp under EU plan

  • Fossil fuel taxes, tighter permit caps and production cuts proposed in bid to meet 2050 zero emission target

BRUSSELS: The world’s biggest carbon trading market faces a major overhaul under EU climate change plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions faster this decade, a draft seen by Reuters shows.

Under the EU emissions trading system (ETS) factories and power plants have to buy pollution permits to cover the greenhouse gases they emit, while airlines must do so for flights within Europe.

The draft document, which confirms that the European Commission will next week propose that the EU sets a target to cut emissions from 1990 levels by “at least 55 percent” by 2030, lays out options it is considering to deliver the new goal.

The commission said it did not comment on leaked documents.

The existing target of a 40 percent cut by 2030 will not be enough for the EU to meet its goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

The new target, which needs national goverment and European Parliament approval, could be met both by reducing production of greenhouse gases and removing them from the atmosphere.

It would also require a tighter cap on the amount of permits in the carbon market, and the rate at which this cap drops each year would need to go beyond the planned rate of 2.2 percent, the draft said.

The commission, which will propose a law containing the ETS reforms by June 2021, will assess what this means for the amount of free permits given to industry, a system designed to avoid companies relocating outside Europe to avoid carbon costs.

An initial analysis found a “significant amount” of free permits would still be available under a tighter cap, the draft said.

The commission will also propose reducing free permits for airlines, while changes to fossil fuel taxes could also help cut emissions, which could make jet fuel more expensive.

The draft confirms plans to expand the ETS into new sectors, including “at least intra-EU maritime transport,” and possibly road transport and buildings.

However, it said the ETS should not replace existing emissions-cutting policies — such as the bloc’s emissions limits for cars, which would be made more ambitious. 


Dubai’s Al-Habtoor Group to open representative office in Israel

Updated 20 September 2020

Dubai’s Al-Habtoor Group to open representative office in Israel

  • Al-Habtoor and Fogel both welcomed the landmark agreement that was signed on Sept. 15 in the US
  • The tycoon revealed his plans to open a representative office in Israel

DUBAI: Dubai’s Al-Habtoor Group (AHG) plans to open a representative office in Israel its chairman said, following an historic peace deal signed last week between the UAE and Israel to normalize relations.

Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor, who is AHG founding chairman, welcomed Ampa Group’s co-owner, chairman and CEO Shlomi Fogel at the hospitality conglomerate’s Dubai headquarters. Ampa Group deals in real estate, finance and industry. 

Al-Habtoor and Fogel both welcomed the landmark agreement that was signed on Sept. 15 in the US. 

The UAE and Bahrain signed the Abraham Accords in a ceremony overseen by US President Donald Trump. The two Gulf countries join Egypt and Jordan as the only Arab nations to have full relations with Israel.

“I have been looking forward to this day for a very long time,” Al-Habtoor said. “I have always believed that Emiratis and Israelis have a lot in common. Both peoples are business-oriented and have relied on human talent and ambition more than their countries’ natural resources to build robust, innovative economies. The opportunities that this deal will present are great for both sides. I am confident this will open up new doors and lead to stronger economies, and closer cultural ties between the peoples.”

The tycoon revealed his plans to open a representative office in Israel and said that there was a lot of interest in collaboration.

“We have received a large number of inquiries for collaboration in several fields, ranging from AI and technology, to agriculture, hospitality and trading. The possibilities are endless for both sides in our diversified fields and new ones, and we want to be present to grasp them.”

He previously disclosed that AHG had started talks with Israeli domestic carrier Israir Airlines to open direct commercial flights, “and we are preparing to reveal a few collaborations in the coming days.”

Fogel said that peace would be cemented through successful business collaboration and trade. “Together with our Emirati counterparts we will show the way to live in peace to the rest of the world,” he added.

Fogel was accompanied at the meeting by Ampa Group executives, including Erez Katz and Saar Bracha.

AHG was represented at the meeting by Mohammed Al-Habtoor, Ahmad Al-Habtoor, Maan Halabi, Sanjeev Agarwala and other members of senior management.