MEPs in Twitter spat over EU carbon tax reforms

By John Parnell

MEPs representing both sides of the EU carbon market reform debate have traded insults on Twitter with the plan’s biggest supporter branded “a sore loser”.

MEPs voted 334-315 to block a plan to withhold more than 900m carbon credits from the struggling market to drive up the flagging carbon price.

The vote demonstrated the extent of divisions in the EU on energy and climate policies. UK Conservative MEPs defined British Prime Minister David Cameron and voted against the reforms. Germany levels of support were also lower than expected.

Matthias Groote, head of the European Parliament’s Environment committee and supporter of the plans said Finnish MEP Eija-Riitta Korhola was “an uncooperative climate skeptic” who “must go”.

Korhola was the Rapporteur for the European People’s Party on this issue. The party is the largest in the Parliament and recommended its members vote against the plans.

Groote suggested she should no longer hold this position and a new EPP shadow should be appointed for future talks on a carbon market fix.

Korhola denied the allegation and said it is the effectiveness of carbon trading that she is concerned about.

“Not at all. I am sceptical towards our climate politics. A pollution shift is not a pollution cut.”

On Wednesday she returned to Twitter saying: “@Groote has now a great chance to show his cooperativeness & willingness to compromise with the majority of the EP without labeling anyone”.

Groote accused her of failing to negotiate or compromise prior to the vote.

Korhola replied in English that she had in fact attended all the meetings before reverting to her native Finnish to call Groote “a sore loser”.

Supporters of the ETS have been playing down the impact of the vote but the depth of feeling among MEPs remains clear.

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