Midlands manufacturing leaders have joined the row over new Government emission targets.
EEF West Midlands is demanding a trade-off deal if it is to accept another rise in business costs. And it is angry that the UK is looking to do far more than it is being asked.
Britain has agreed to cut by nearly three per cent its carbon emissions quota.
The move affects the next round of Europe's carbon trading scheme - the carbon market is the EU's main strategy for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
The new British permits quota for the 2008-2012 second phase is 12.5 per cent below the 2005 emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide, and is at the top end of a range the Government consulted on in March. Environmentalists have rejected the cuts as too shallow, while industry says they are too deep.
EEF West Midlands says firms will face the double whammy of complying with the scheme and paying higher energy prices. In response, it has called on the Government to take steps to ease Industry's cost burden elsewhere
Ian Smith, chief executive, said: "These proposals will leave businesses across the West Midlands significantly out of step with the rest of Europe and damage our competitiveness at a time when we can ill afford to do so.
"Whilst we must tackle climate change, the way to success is through international co-operation, not by the UK forging ahead in splendid isolation.
"Yet again industry is having to shoulder most of the burden for reducing emissions when we urgently need other sectors of society to play their part. If this announcement is to result in yet higher electricity prices, manufacturers will be looking to government to offset this increase in energy costs elsewhere." ..SUPL: