Czech government wants to sue the European Commission
The Czech government has decided to sue the European Commission for the first time ever. This unprecedented step comes in response to the EC's decision to give the Czech Republic a lower CO2 quota than requested. The Trade and Industry Ministry claims that the EC miscalculated the country's needs in view of its projected economic growth and is hoping to get the figure revised. But does the Czech Republic really stand any chance of winning this case?
The Czech Republic originally asked to be allotted 102 million tons of emission annually - an amount that it has never actually produced in the past. Minister Riman claims that due to the country's booming economy and projected 8 to 9 percent growth rate the figure is realistic. Environmental activist Vojtech Kotecky says this argument does not hold water.
On the other hand the industrial sector - which lobbied strongly in favour of a lawsuit - is happy. Industry leaders have argued that if should they need to buy unused quotas from other states the price of Czech goods would rise and they would be less competitive on the EU market. This is precisely the argument that all EU member states used in past years - the result of which was that the quota system took a beating and the value of credits on the market plunged. In order to prevent a repetition of this the EC slashed the carbon quotas of one and all. Consequently, observers do not think the country's chances of winning a European lawsuit are very high. As they point out, the number of cases in which an EU member state has won a lawsuit against the EC can be counted on the fingers of one hand.