EU has given €98.5 billion in free carbon permits: WWF

Photo by Marek Piwnicki/

International NGO said energy insensitive industries including aviation, steel, cement and chemicals were given free permits from 2013-21 

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) after a recent analysis has stated that major polluting sectors in the EU have been provided with free carbon permits worth €98.5 billion. According to a report by the Guardian on Wednesday, November 30, the WWF said in a statement that permits were given to sectors including aviation, steel, chemical and cement, for over nine years.

This figure the report said, is over €88.5 billion more than the EU´s emission trading scheme (ETS) which was charged to coal and gas power stations, due to their high level of CO2 emissions.

“The analysis shows that for the last decade, the ETS was based on a polluters-don’t-pay principle, with billions and billions of forgone revenue that EU countries could instead have invested in industrial decarbonisation” said Romain Laugier, lead author of the report at WWF, the report stated. He added, “EU negotiators should phase out free allowances as soon as possible, and in the meantime make sure companies that receive them meet strict conditions on cutting their emissions.”

Another statement in the report by Alex Mason from the WWF said, “If taxpayers are going to forgo tens of billions in revenue, then the industry should be using that money to invest in the technologies to decarbonise, certainly not simply doing nothing or even profiting from the free allowances.”

WWF also stated, 100% of this amount should be invested towards actions to combat climate change, in order to account for the carbon tax paid by citizens, the report said.

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