Germany has proposed a scheme to provide a €40m subsidy for producers of non-ferrous metals (aluminium, zinc and copper) to compensate for part of the CO2 costs included in their electricity prices in the second half of 2009. Germany claims that the subsidy is crucial to prevent plant closures and the risk that production capacity could be taken over by producers which are not subject to the European Emission Trading System (EU ETS). The European Commission has signalled its scepticism over the necessity for the aid. Announcing the opening of an in-depth investigation of the scheme, Commissioner Almunia said “the Commission does not encourage electricity price-subsidisation for targeted industrial sectors”. The Commission has also expressed doubts over the argument that failure to provide assistance could lead to a global increase of CO2 emissions, the so called ‘carbon leakage risk’. However, it has said that it does not intend to pre-judge the outcome and Germany will have an opportunity during the investigation to substantiate the claims.