The Netherlands, Germany and Finland are allowed to help companies that consume a lot of energy with tens of billions of euros to bear the costs of their CO2 emissions. The European Commission allows state aid, among other things to prevent, for example, blast furnaces or chemical factories from moving abroad.
The business community in the Netherlands, the most important trading partner Germany and other EU countries are feeling the high energy prices. Energy companies in the European Union also have to buy rights to emit CO2 and these costs are then reflected in their prices.
EU member states and Brussels fear this will mean fertilizer, metal and chemical industries, among others, will begin moving to locations outside the EU that are less careful with the climate. This could cost jobs and harm the fight against climate change. That is why the European Commission, which enforces strict state aid rules to protect the free market, is making an exception to allow the aid.
The Netherlands is allocating almost 835 million euros for the support scheme. That amount pales in comparison to that of Germany, Europe’s largest economy and industrial engine. Berlin is setting aside 27.5 billion euros until 2030.
The companies that qualify for the aid could recover up to about three quarters of their so-called indirect emissions costs. Finland is keeping the amount at 687 million euros and will reimburse no more than 25 percent of the extra costs due to the trade in CO2 rights.