EU to vote on carbon market reforms in July

By John Parnell

A second vote on reforms to the EU’s carbon market will take place in July, the European Parliament has confirmed.

The chair of its Environment Committee, Mathias Groote, made the announcement via Twitter on Tuesday morning.

The vote will decide whether to withhold more than 900m carbon permits from the oversupplied Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

This would address the current imbalance, raise the price of emitting a tonne of carbon and boost incentives to industry to reduce greenhouse gases.

A vote last month narrowly defeated the plans by 334-315 votes. As many as a dozen MEPs admitted to accidentally voting the wrong way.

The last vote at the European Parliament in Strasbourg saw backloading narrowly defeated 334-315 (Source: Flickr/Euro Parliament)

Tomas Wyns, director of the Center for Clean Air Policy-Europe (CCAP) told RTCC that this, plus the reaction to the last vote could tip the balance.

“You could also expect the negative fallout in the press after the first vote and the fact that the Parliament has been considered as killing off an instrument, changing more MEPs’ positions,” he said.

Following some tweaks by Groote’s committee, a new version of the proposals will be sent to the Parliament for approval when it gathers in the first week of July

Meanwhile, a group of nine climate and environment ministers, including those for Germany and the UK are expected to release a joint statement calling for a decision on the so-called “backloading” proposal before July.

The ETS is the centre of European climate policy capping emissions from steel forgeries, cement factories and power stations.

Chris Davies, a UK MEP and a member of the Environment Committee told Bloomberg: “One of the purposes of the ETS was to give long-term direction to investors. With climate policy seen to be in disarray, there is no such direction.”

The EU is viewed by many as a linchpin in the talks through the UN for a 2015 global deal on emissions reductions.

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