It is in the interest of efficiency, in particular, that we have to ensure that we stick to the objective of reducing emissions without seeking additional goals. It means making flexibility a priority, motivating rather than restricting, and avoiding bureaucracy whilst ensuring that the simplicity of the mechanisms put in place is counterbalanced by an almost automatic compliance to the commitments made by the companies. Accompanying measures for a major innovation initiative are also crucial.
In order to guide efforts to reduce GHG emissions within the manufacturing sector, “Entreprises pour l’Environnement” proposes a combination of voluntary negotiated agreements (VNA) and emission credits (traded on the market). These voluntary agreements will be negotiated with authorities (national and, in some cases, EU) by industrial gas emitters (companies, industrial groups, industrial sectors or ad hoc groups of companies). In order to be eligible for a VNA, these industrial emitters must demonstrate their capacity to measure their emissions and to successfully conduct emission reductions or, in case of failure, to implement compensatory measures, and must show that they “represent” a quantity of emissions in excess of a certain threshold, thereby enabling them to enter the permits market. This mechanism will make it possible to cover a large part of the manufacturing sector (1).
(1) The proposed mechanism can cover capital goods and household equipment sectors and makes provision for new entrants, transfers and acquisitions and imports. Should negotiations between Government authorities and industrial emitters prove unsuccessful, then, the Government authorities will determine the objectives to be applied.
The scheme is simple – if an industrial emitter improves on the target negotiated with the authorities, then he receives emission credits which he can sell or keep for a subsequent period. Should he fail to reach the target, then, on the contrary, he will have to purchase emission credits (permits) on the market. Sanctioning through the market is, therefore, automatic.
Thus industry finds itself committed to a plan of action which corresponds to its own operating methods : medium term goals and the use of international markets. Industry makes its contribution to the national and international objectives of the Kyoto Protocol without setting up “a priori” an adverse effect on its operating conditions.