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CEMBUREAU-commissioned study concludes NOx/SO2 ETS is risky

World Cement,

An independent study by Ecofys/Emission Care (commissioned by CEMBUREAU) has been launched on the consequences that an industrial NOx and SO2 emissions trading scheme (ETS) could have on the European cement sector. Entitled ‘The ETS paradox. Emissions trading for industrial NOx and SO2 in the EU: consequences for the European cement sector’.

The report concludes that the window of opportunity for the introduction of an ETS for NOx and SO2 is small and therefore risky. As the ETS for NOx and SO2 would be introduced at a relatively late stage, by which time emissions will have already been substantially reduced through existing instruments. In addition, the introduction of a new policy instrument will add another element to the existing complexity of air pollution policies that the Commission is intending to simplify.

The study also indicates that an ETS is likely to conflict with existing policies, such as the Industrial Pollution Prevention and Control Directive (IPPCii, 96/61/EC), the National Emission Ceilings Directive (NEC, 2001/81/EC), Natura 2000 policies and local air quality requirements (resulting from air quality legislation or from individual permit procedures). These policies will limit the flexibility of the ETS and decrease its potential efficiency.

The study also highlights that full implementation of existing emission policies will result in a 90% (SO2) and 65% (NOx) reduction of total land-based emissions in the EU in 2020, compared to 1990.

This independent study provides substance to the reflections on air quality in the cement industry. CEMBUREAU is not in favour of the introduction of legislation that would contribute little to NOx and SO2 emission reductions, at a disproportionate cost, compared to the enforcement of existing legislation.

The Ecofys/Emission Care study will also help CEMBUREAU address the draft conclusions of an assessment for the European Commission, regarding the cement sector, which CEMBUREAU does not believe provides a good basis for an impact assessment of legislation in this field.

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