Emission Performance Standards: Global Practice and Options for Europe
In this presentation in the European Parliament, Richard Cowart stresses the importance of complementary policies that are needed to work in parallel with the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme to speed the low-carbon transition in Europe. He recommends adopting an emissions performance standard (EPS), a technology-neutral policy setting the maximum level of CO2 emissions per unit of output from a power plant. EPS can be used to avoid the “lock-in” of emissions from new unabated coal plants, and to ensure timely retirements of existing high-emissions facilities. Drawing on international experience with EPS policies, Mr. Cowart reviews design options for Europe and for individual Member States. He concludes by recommending additional steps beyond carbon pricing and EPS to create an effective “retirement plan” for Europe’s over-supply of legacy high-emissions power plants.