BERLIN, March 7 (Reuters) - The European Union must consider the long-term structure of its carbon Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and if necessary take action, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday, hinting that she may be open to plans to hold back permits.
"In our talks today it became clear that we must think about how the structures will look after 2020 for carbon emissions," Merkel said at a news conference when asked about EU proposals to withdraw some ETS certificates to prop up the market.
"Many (people) from the business perspective said we need investment security, and the government will look at this and if necessary make arrangements," she said.
Germany's environment and economy ministries have so far been divided on the issue of "backloading" permits, meaning Europe's biggest economy has no official stance on EU proposals. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Alexandra Hudson)