Unchecked CO2 emissions market brings economic destabilisation says PM

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has called for a reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) stating that, if uncontrolled, it can lead to the economic destabilisation of Central Europe.

"ETS should be a system which ensures an economically-justified and socially-acceptable measure designed to reduce greenhouse gases," Morawiecki wrote in an article published in the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Thursday.

"But CO2 certificates have quickly become financial instruments in the hands of rich investors," the prime minister went on to say, adding that the current shape of the system was an easy target of speculative attacks and a measure to artificially increase emission trading prices.

According to Morawiecki, in 2016, the CO2 emission trading price stood at around EUR 6 per tonne. "And it has gone up to nearly EUR 90. This is 15 times more during a span five years," he wrote.

"If we do not halt this uncontrolled speculation, it could turn out to be impossible to plan and effectively implement climate goals," he said.

The Polish head of government pointed out that Central Europe had been more severely hit by the problem since its economies had to develop in completely different conditions than those in Western Europe.

"High emission trading prices are leading to the economic destabilisation of the region, and this, in turn, is making it more difficult to implement EU climate policy," Morawicki wrote.

"It is high time we stopped this political 'greenwashing,'" Morawiecki concluded.

Furthermore, Morawiecki told the Italian daily Il Sole-24 Ore that the main culprits responsible for the ongoing energy crisis were Russia and Gazprom's monopolistic practices.

"If we do not take proper steps, its costs will be covered by ordinary citizens. And they are not to blame for the crisis," the prime minister stated, adding that energy transition had to be sped up in order to "free ourselves from the irresponsible and aggressive politics conducted by the Kremlin and Gazprom."

"If the concept of just energy transition is replaced by the current irresponsible logic of the ETS, all of us will have to pay double," he concluded.