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. EU industry shelving investments over emissions plans: association

by Staff Writers
Brussels (AFP) Feb 6, 2008
A growing number of European industrial groups are scrapping investments because of EU plans to make them pay for the right to emit greenhouse gases, an energy industry association said Wednesday.

"Every week a project is being cancelled," said Johannes Teyssen, vice chairman of the World Energy Council, which represents groups in 96 countries.

Teyssen, who said he had lost count of the number of projects that had been called off, cited in particular the cancellation in recent weeks of plans for several coal-fired power plants in Germany.

While the shelving of the projects was "probably a reflection of increased costs," it was also a a result of the European Commission's "rigid and tough" stance on emissions, he said.

The European Commission proposed last month that industrial polluters should have to bid for currently free quotas to emit greenhouse gases as part of a broad strategy to fight global warming.

"Full auctioning could lead to more vulnerability" for EU companies, warned Teyssen, a senior executive at German energy giant EON.

While power companies would have to pay for their pollution quotas from 2013 under the Commission's proposals, other industries would gradually be phased in to the programme afterwards.

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