The European Carbon Market -16.06.2024

The EUA price closed on Friday, 14.06.2024, on the ICE ECX futures market in London at 68.628 euro/tCO2. The European carbon certificate price last week remained in the 68-70 euro/tCO2 range, despite a nearly 10% rise in natural gas over the period, breaking the long-standing correlation between the two markets.

A new climate target for 2040 in the European Union

At the beginning of this year 2024, the European Commission published a Communication entitled “Europe’s climate change target for 2040 and the pathway to climate neutrality by 2050”. Climate neutrality is at the heart of the European Green Deal and is in line with the EU’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. The target recommended by the EC in this proposal for 2040 is a 90% net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels and is seen as a reasonable intermediate step between the 2030 target of at least a 55% reduction in net emissions compared to 1990 levels and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

What is this target?

In order to reach the ambitious target of a 90% reduction in emissions by 2040, emissions would need to fall to at least 850 million tonnes of CO2, which means that at least 400 million tonnes of CO2 would need to be removed from the atmosphere through both afforestation and the use of innovative solutions such as carbon capture and storage technologies.

In its assessment, the Commission describes the favourable policy conditions needed to achieve the 2040 target. According to the Commission, the energy sector should move closer to full decarbonisation in the second half of the 2030s in order to achieve it by 2040. In addition, renewable energy is expected to generate more than 90% of Europe’s electricity by 2040. Once agreed, the 2040 target will form the basis of the National Determined Contribution (NDC), which contains the targets that each EU country commits to under the Paris Agreement. The European Union must present these NDCs by November 2025, before the UN COP30 Summit in Brazil.

How can it be achieved?

To be achievable, any ambitious target must also be realistic. Thus, to reach this target, an emission reduction target of at least 55% by 2030 in all EU countries will have to be met. In addition, all possible low emission energy solutions will have to be implemented: not only solar and wind energy, but also Carbon Capture and Storage solutions as well as nuclear energy. According to the Commission, the transport sector should also reduce its emissions through technological solutions and through the emissions trading scheme planned to be implemented from 2027 for this sector.

In the Commission’s assessment, the agricultural sector can also participate in the transition with the right policies and adequate support. It must ensure sufficient food production and fair incomes for producers and workers and together implement sustainable technologies and methodologies that do not degrade soils and preserve the capacity of forests to store carbon.

In the European Commission’s view, the key conditions for achieving the three targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050 will be to ensure the competitiveness and robustness of European industry, a fair transition that leaves no one behind, cooperation with international partners and increasing Europe’s resilience to crises by strengthening the condition of energy independence. In particular, the Commission argues that an open dialogue with all stakeholders, from the different European institutions to the industrial, energy, agricultural and civil society sectors, is a prerequisite for achieving the transition and developing the necessary conditions to attract investment.

In our view, the 2040 climate target will pave the way for intense political debate and will be one of the points to be addressed by the next Commission, which will take office after the recent European elections in June 2024 and could lead to the adoption of 2040 target by the end of 2025.

Source: The European Commission, Brussels & Carbon Pulse, London

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