European Parliament approves backloading

By Anders Lorenzen

The suffering European Union Emissions Trade Scheme (EUETS) today received a welcome boost, MEP’s voted to support the proposal of backloading with the votes 344 for and 311 against. Back in April MEP’s had narrowly voted no to the backloading proposal. The proposal would postpone 900 million allowances for the period between 2013-2015 and negotiations with EU ministers will now start as soon as possible.

It is anticipated backloading would revitalise the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS) of which the carbon floor price has dropped to such a low price due to oversupply, that it was not deemed effective. By making less allowances available the value of the remaining allowances would automatically increase; it was hoped that this would achieve a carbon floor price of €25-30 which is anticipated being the minimum price needed for the scheme to have any effect.

Today’s vote was welcomed by EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, who on Twitter thanked all who voted in favour of the proposal and also said that the victory came in the wake of intensive lobbying from heavy carbon industries to reject it.

Environmental NGO’s also welcomed it. Greenpeace stated in a press release: “Greenpeace welcomes today’s vote in the European Parliament to support a stronger than expected fix to the EU’s ailing carbon market, but warns that the plan will have only a temporary effect… Greenpeace calls on the European Commission to put forward a proposal for removing 2.2 billion allowances from the scheme before 2020, and to table a concrete post-2020 climate and energy proposal.”

World Wildlife Foundation (WWF):
“The European Parliament has done the minimum to rescue the ETS from redundancy. Member states should back further measures to eliminate these toxic tonnes permanently from the EU’s carbon market.”

Sandbag, a campaign organisation with a focus on emissions trading stated:
“This is a positive outcome after months of uncertainty. All eyes are now on Member States to reach a position as soon as possible. Once a backloading decision is agreed, this must act as a stepping stone to deeper structural reforms of the EU ETS that restore the balance of supply and demand in the carbon market and prevent the ETS from compromising the environmental effectiveness of other climate policies.”

Sub edited by Charlotte Paton

Related news:
Poland continues to gamble with the EU’s climate policy
Defiant Hedegaard fights on after suffering EU defeat

Categories: EU

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