Combating climate change through investment: RWE calls for a fair emissions trading scheme post-2012

Federal Environment Minister Gabriel and CEO of RWE Power participate in discussion during the UN Climate Conference in Pozna?

Poznan/Essen, (PresseBox) - Dr. Johannes Lambertz, CEO of RWE Power, called for a fair emissions trading scheme to ensure that power plant investments in Europe guarantee security of supply in future. He spoke at an RWE event on Tuesday evening in Pozna?, Poland, in conjunction with the UN Climate Conference, two days before the Heads of State and Government of the European Union meet to agree the EU's climate package.

For the period following 2012, a phased-in introduction of full-scale auctioning of CO2 allowances is required to secure the future of coal and give it the opportunity to adapt to the future, Lambertz underscored in the presence of Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel. "Over the next few years, RWE is planning to invest more than 30 billion Euro in power plants, open-cast mines and networks. Each of these investments will help prevent climate change. But they must also offer us some return - and they can only do so if the emissions trading scheme is organised in a fair way," Lambertz said. Otherwise, coal will be consigned to the scrap heap.

"We need new coal-fired power plants with state-of-the-art, environmentally sound technologies. Otherwise, we will have to leave older power stations with considerable higher CO2 emissions running even longer to ensure security of supply," Lambertz pointed out. RWE plans to have its first large-scale, technologically advanced coal-fired power plant on the grid by 2014. Currently planned on a site near Cologne, this facility features climate-friendly carbon capture and storage technology. In the UK, the company is planning to erect a demonstration capture plant on its Aberthaw generating site. RWE is in addition researching further technologies and measures to enhance the efficiency of its power plants and reduce CO2 emissions.

Lambertz went on to describe the ongoing international climate protection projects (Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation) regulated under the Kyoto Protocol as a matter of great urgency. "I view proposals to limit CDM with great concern. We have to take steps all over the world to reduce CO2 emissions. CDM projects allow us to do so in a cost-effective manner. RWE is an industry leader in this field. We have already achieved a great deal for climate protection in many countries around the world and we want to continue pursuing these projects." The CEO of RWE Power, a company involved in over one hundred such climate protection projects, said it was irrational from a climate policy standpoint to limit CDM.

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RWE is among Europe's five largest utilities. The Group is active in the generation and transmission as well as the sale and trading of electricity and gas. 63,500 employees supply 20 million customers with electricity and 10 million clients with gas. In fiscal 2007, the Group recorded 42.55 billion Euro in revenue. RWE is the biggest power producer in Germany and No. 2 in the UK. The Group is continuing to expand its position in Central and South-Eastern Europe. RWE is the largest investor in new power plants in Germany, with construction projects totalling over 4.5 billion Euro. At its Niederaussem generating site, RWE has pooled its progressive research activities and invested around 90 million Euro in research and development of CO2 reduction and conversion technologies. RWE is involved in over 100 Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation projects and has set aside 150 million Euro for project development and investment purposes.

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