Today (15 February), the ALDE Group in the European Parliament reluctantly backed the outcome of a vote on reforms in the EU’s carbon market. Although plans to strengthen the system and reduce the glut of emission allowances should have been stricter, the vote does moderately strengthen the climate ambition of the system. The vote also increases pressure on EU governments to speed up negotiations on one of the key pillars of EU climate policy.
ALDE considers the Parliament’s position an improvement compared to the original Commission proposal. However, the Parliament’s proposals will not do enough to bring all industrial sectors on a realistic pathway towards a zero carbon economy, consistent with the Paris agreement.
ALDE shadow rapporteur and Environment Committee coordinator Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy:
“Today’s carbon market reforms are politically the best possible, but do not meet the required ambition level of the Paris climate agreement. We would have liked to see a more stringent carbon market, with less state aid and fewer exemptions. But on balance this package will move us forward. Now EU environment ministers, meeting in two weeks, must swiftly agree on a constructive negotiating position.“
Fredrick Federley MEP, rapporteur for the opinion of the ITRE Committee in the European Parliament said:
“Given the unambitious reforms set out earlier by EU leaders, we’ve taken some steps forward. But if these measures don’t do the job, we must stand ready for further reforms in the mid-term review. The carbon market must encourage low carbon innovation in order to reach our long term climate targets and for European industry to maintain a competitive edge in the green transition.”