The increasing global convergence of regulatory approaches and targets concerning immission control may lead to significant economic benefits worldwide in introducing new and sustainable technologies. However, there is a risk that these regulations will be formulated to benefit the domestic industry of the nations concerned.
Goals to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and almost completely avoid the use of fossil carbon by 2050 are already the subject of public and political debate. However, it will only be possible to meet these goals by using mostly non-fossil sources of energy such as renewable electromobility.
The delegates at the most recent World Climate Conference in Cancun, Mexico, at the end of 2010 did take a small step towards establishing a uniform global framework for climate protection: with the exception of Bolivia, all member states officially pledged to limit global warming to 2°C. Concrete steps towards this goal will not be identified until the next conference at the end of 2011. However, it was agreed to assist developing countries to limit increases in their emissions by transferring technology from the industrialized nations. At present, it is impossible to predict whether this could force Volkswagen AG to pass on expertise in the future.
In preparation for the third emissions trading period beginning in 2013, we calculated the CO2 emissions requirements to be reported for the plants of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand in accordance with the Datenerhebungsverordnung (DEV 2020 – German Data Collection Regulation). The assessment showed that we only need to report installations for the plants in Salzgitter and Zwickau: we reported an additional requirement of approximately 3,000 tons of CO2 a year for the Salzgitter site and around 20,000 tons of CO2 a year for the Zwickau site. Appropriate checks were also carried out at the other plants in the European Union in accordance with the national laws in force at those locations. The number of Volkswagen Group installations included in the EU Emissions Trading System as of 2013 will not rise significantly overall.
The main change to the emissions trading system starting in 2013 is that the emissions certificates required will no longer be allocated free of charge on the basis of National Allocation Plans. Instead, all certificates for CO2 emissions from pure power generation and an annually increasing percentage of certificates for other emissions will have to be purchased (auctioning). Provisional estimates indicate that the energy costs incurred by the Volkswagen Group’s European sites will increase dramatically solely as a result of purchasing the emission allowances required for the operation of their own incineration installations.