Confindustria Ceramica

Emissions Trading agreement

The Italian ceramic industry was one of the sectors involved in the community negotiations held recently in Brussels concerning actions to combat Climate Change. The agreement reached within the European Council corrected the most alarming competitive distortions contained in the European Commission proposal, although technical details still need to be studied and the process of implementing the agreement will have to be carefully monitored. Nonetheless, the solution reached should guarantee Italian ceramic companies the free assignment of emission quotas in recognition that the production technologies they adopt are at the most advanced international levels.

The European Commission’s original proposal, which entailed the assigning of emission rights by payment according to an auction mechanism, would have severely penalised the ceramic sector – an industry in which Italy enjoys an international leadership position – without any tangible benefit for the environment.

These results would not have been possible without the efforts of the Italian government, the Ministry of the Environment and the Community Policies Department led by Minister Andrea Ronchi. Another major contribution came from the unflagging commitment of Confindustria led by Emma Marcegaglia, whose personal efforts not only drew attention to the potential risks for the whole of the Italian manufacturing industry but also prompted an awareness of these issues on the part of European industry as a whole. The resultant agreement is expected to avoid delocalisation and the consequent loss of jobs in direct and allied sectors.

The stage of implementing the agreement is now crucial, as is the clause secured by the Italian government to enable verification that the commitments made by the European industry at a political level are not circumvented by bureaucratic mechanisms.