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Italy’s Metal Industry: EU’s Carbon Law Hurts Competitiveness

assomet.jpgAssomet, Italy’s non-ferrous metal industry body, told Italy’s minister in charge of EU policies that EU’s carbon plans would hurt Europe’s competitiveness, Reuters reports (via Forbes).

In an open letter to Italy’s minister, Assomet said EU’s CO2 emissions trading scheme would increase production costs and drive energy-intensive sectors out of Europe, or out of business.

Assomet wants the EU to take measures to reduce the impact of rising CO2 emissions costs on electricity prices. The group says such measures are necessary to ensure survival of non-ferrous metals industry in Italy and in Europe, at least until competitors in other parts of the world starts bearing similar costs.

Assomet says sectors exposed to international competition should be compensated for the cost of CO2 emissions and that metal recycling activities should be exempt from the scheme.

The financial crisis is already threatening Europe’s plan to slash GHG emissions, which passed last week. Despite tougher carbon laws, Europe’s environmental committee did offer some concessions, allowing energy-intensive industries a phase-in period. Starting 2013, they would have to buy only 15 percent of their emissions allowance, down from the 20 percent figure set earlier this year.

Italy is not alone in worrying about the affects of tougher carbon laws. Australia, Germany, and the U.S. have also warned that CO2 plans would bring sky-high carbon taxes and threaten jobs and competitiveness.

Poland and Britain have also attempted to weaken European proposals to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020.

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