European Commission tries, again, to award contract for emissions auction monitor

Procurement re-launched by EU authorities

While the European Union’s carbon emissions trading regime got a boost this week, it’s emerged that the European authorities are having another stab at finding a monitor for the emissions auctions process.

The Parliament this week voted in favour of a so-called “backloading” plan to reduce the glut of unsold carbon allowances in the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) in a move widely seen as boosting the policy.

But the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Climate Action is once again seeking a monitor for the auction process, having failed previously to find any takers in a “restricted” call for tenders last year.

No applications were received and the Commission eventually cancelled the procedure.

That failure meant that the EU was in breach of its own rules, given that the process requires a monitor to oversee the timing, administration and other aspects of the allowance auction.

The Commission had hoped to have a monitor in place by July 2013 at the latest, as reported on RI.

“After further reflection, the Commission and the Member States have decided to launch an open joint procurement procedure,” according to a new tender released today.The plan is for a direct contract with a single auction monitor for a period of two years, renewable twice for one year.

“Given the fact that the functions of the auction monitor are novel in nature, the Commission will be looking for transferable skills acquired in other analogous contexts.”

So whoever wins the contract will need experience in monitoring compliance with legal obligations and reporting to public bodies, clearing/settlement, trading/auctioning, market analysis etc. The estimated costs are put at €5m.

Today (July 5) is also the deadline for responding to a tender to study the impacts on low-carbon “actions and investments” under the EU ETS. The aim of the €200,000 study is to document how the ETS has had an impact on low-carbon investment decisions and on operational decisions by both industry and electricity producers.
Meanwhile, the Commission has approved funding for 248 new projects under the LIFE+ programme, the European Union’s environment fund. The projects cover nature conservation, climate change, environmental policy and information and communication on environmental issues across all member states.