Set-back in the fight against climate change as EPP crushes ambitious reform of Emission Trading System

Set-back in the fight against climate change as EPP crushes ambitious reform of Emission Trading System

Today, key elements of plans to reform the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) were voted down by the EPP Group in the European Parliament.

The EU is the world's third largest CO2 emitter. ETS applies to more than 11,000 industrial and energy installations, covering almost 50% of Europe's greenhouse gas emissions. It is Europe's crucial tool in our efforts to reach the EU’s climate and energy goals and fulfil our obligations to mitigate climate change under the Paris Agreement. During the negotiations on the ETS reform the Socialists and Democrats led the drive to fulfill the EU’s Paris commitments while maintaining Europe’s industrial competitiveness and protecting workers impacted by the energy transition.

S&D shadow rapporteur for the ETS reform, Jytte Guteland MEP, said:

"Today the EPP Group showed its true colours. By breaking the deal that all political parties had signed up to before the vote, the EPP sabotaged and diluted the progressive climate elements of the proposal. The report adopted today falls short of an ambitious reform of the ETS which would be able deliver on the EU's long-term climate targets and the Paris Agreement. Obviously, the EPP cares more about pandering to some industry sectors than it does about fighting climate change.

"While we wanted a more ambitious reform, the S&Ds succeeded in getting a number of progressive elements in the report: the cancellations of surplus allowances on the market, a just transition fund to protect workers during the transition to a low-carbon society. Moreover, shipping emissions will be lowered in the future and no new coal plants will receive financing.

"The S&D Group persistently pushed for a reduction of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. Today's deal falls short of incentivising low-carbon innovation for all industry. With more ambition and higher emission reductions from 2021 on-ward it would have been possible to deliver on fighting climate change but also provide more predictability and security for industry. That is why I could not support the final outcome in parliament today.

"Throughout the negotiations the S&D Group acted in a constructive and responsible way. We kept our word and respected the agreed compromises. From the very start we worked for a balanced ETS that delivers on our climate targets and creates fair conditions for industry. I would have liked to see a more balanced result. But after the EPP Group broke its word, this is what we could secure in parliament today."

Edouard Martin, S&D MEP responsible for ETS in the Industry Committee added:

"During the negotiations the Socialists and Democrats were the only ones who were ambitious on all three fronts: climate, industry and society. The transition to a low-carbon society will only work when we combine all three aspects."