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ENVI committee says yes to ETS backloading

By Dave Keating  -  20.02.2013 / 09:44 CET
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 (19 February).  

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 next week.  

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 withholding or 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).
© 2014 European Voice. All rights reserved.
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