L’Europe tacle le marché des crédit carbone

Mauvaise nouvelle pour le secteur des utilities. Le parlement européen a refusé hier une proposition de la Commission européenne réduire la situation de suroffre sur le marché des permis à émettre du dioxyde de carbone, provoquant une chute du cours des crédits carbone.

Reuters rapporte qu’à la nouvelle, le cours des crédit carbone a plongé de 40% à 2,63€ la tonne[cleeng_content id= »532238192″ description= »Plus d\’analyses et de commentaires à découvrir…  » price= »0.19″ t= »article » referral= »0.05″]. La démarche de la Commission visait à reporter à 2019-2020 la mise aux enchères de 900 millions de tonnes de crédits carbone à émettre initialement entre 2014 et 2016. Un effort important, mais qui ne résout qu’une partie du problème, puisque selon Deutsche Bank, l’excès de crédit carbone atteindrait 1,4 milliard de tonnes. D’après la banque:

« The outcome of the vote is particularly negative for Verbund, Fortum and CEZ, and slightly negative for E.ON and GDF Suez. The outcome should be broadly neutral for RWE, and potentially positive for PPC, due to its high carbon intensity. Every E1/tonne reduction in long-run carbon prices is worth c.3%, c.3% and c.2% respectively off our valuations of Verbund, Fortum, and CEZ, if sustained. »

Bank of America Merrill Lynch avance d’autres estimations:

« We calculate that a c€2/t move in CO2 prices would weigh on 2015 EPS by 6-12% for Europe’s cleaner generators (Verbund, Fortum and CEZ) and by 1-3% for E.ON, GDF Suez, EGP and EDF. We see only very modest earnings sensitivity at RWE, SSE, CNA and most Southern European generators. Conversely, we see c10% average 2014-2016 EPS upgrades for Drax (DRX LN, 608.5p, B-1-8, Buy, PO 710p). »

Les conséquences à moyen terme sont toutefois plus larges, selon la banque américaine (même si le texte sera revoté dans un futur qui reste à déterminer):

« In our view, yesterday’s vote signals the political preference for protecting consumers over the environment, yet we believe CO2 regulation and / or taxation is not off the agenda: Opposing votes won by only 29 votes with 60 abstentions.
The backloading proposal will now return to the Environmental Committee of the EU Parliament – charged with finding a new consensus on how to treat the permit oversupply in the European CO2 trading scheme (ETS). While CO2 prices likely will continue to reflect the ETS’s uncertain future, we believe impetus for CO2 regulation will increasingly become a national topic – e.g. along the lines of the UK’s carbon floor. Outside the UK, we therefore suggest such schemes may yet once again reverse the fortunes of Europe’s power generators. »

Exane BNP Paribas dessine pour sa part plusieurs scénarios, sans toutefois exclure la petite mort du marché des crédits carbone:

« One cannot dismiss the possibility of the EU CO2 Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) suffering a slow death. But there are three other potential scenarios, all of which could support CO2 pricing: 1) the EU Commission could come back with the same proposal but through a more lengthy procedure (and also, in order to address MP’s concerns over the negative impact on the economy, giving more detailed explanations of the State Aid  regulation it authorized back in Spring 2012), 2) more structural measures could be proposed (like the previous scenario, this would not occur before the September 2013 German elections given that fresh support would be required), 3) the ETS could be replaced by domestic measures that in the end would likely have a similar impact on utilities’ profitability (CO2 tax for instance). In parallel, we assess that the current CO2 price only prices in a 10% probability of structural measures being successfully implemented. While the CO2 price could move sideways before the German elections, we continue to believe it will be higher by the year end. »

Morgan Stanley a une vue un peu plus positive, tout en estimant que cette décision ne remet pas en cause son scénario de redressement des flux de trésorerie disponible à partir de 2014.

« A delay, but not necessarily the end of the ETS: we note that the Commission has not withdrawn its proposal and that the text could come back for a second reading, with some changes or at a time more suited politically. Adopting backloading was always to be a challenging process: it is proving to be the case.
What’s the alternative? We believe that EU institutions will do enough to keep the ETS mechanism alive and avoid fragmentation into a set of country level frameworks, as put forward in the UK. While it is politically tempting for many to put forward support for higher CO2 prices, it will be difficult to get widespread political support for an immediate tax or other system given the impact on power prices and industrial customers. The most palatable solution could be a tougher long-term target on emissions reductions. »

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