Proposal will temporarily delay the auctioning of emissions allowances in 2013-2015 until 2018-2020.
A European Commission proposal to delay auctioning of
emissions allowances in the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme in order to increase
the deflated price of carbon passed a key vote in the European Parliament yesterday
The proposal to temporarily delay the auctioning of
allowances in 2013-2015 until 2018-2020, called ‘backloading', passed the
environment committee with 38 votes versus 25 votes, with two abstentions.
The Parliament's industry committee last month voted to
reject the proposal. However the environment committee is the lead committee on
this dossier. The main centre-right EPP group has taken a stance against the
proposal, but eight of its members broke ranks to vote for backloading in the
environment committee vote.
A plenary vote will be held by the full Parliament in the
coming months. It has not yet been decided whether to wait for the plenary vote
to begin negotiations with member states. Member states will debate the issue
Environmental NGOs welcomed the vote outcome, but warned
that stronger action is needed to save the ETS, which analysts warn is in
danger of collapse unless the price of carbon goes up. “MEPs are working with
the options on table, but there is no getting around the fact that no amount of
fiddling with the ETS will make the system fit for the challenge of tackling
the climate crisis,” said Brooke Riley of campaign group Friends of the Earth.
But the energy-intensive industry sector warned that backloading
will erode confidence in the ETS. “Artificially increasing the carbon price by
removing allowances will undermine the competitiveness of
European industries by increasing energy bills even further,” said Gordon
Moffat, director general of the European Steel Association (Eurofer).
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