MEPs reject a key carbon market reform text, deemed not ambitious enough by the Greens and the left

MEPs rejected, on Wednesday June 8 in plenary session, a key text on the reform of the European carbon market, deemed not ambitious enough by the Greens and the left, which will lead to a renegotiation of this pillar of the climate plan of the European Union in parliamentary committee.

This text, which provides for the expansion of the market for trading CO2 emission quotas, but also the abolition of free quotas for European industrialists in exchange for a carbon tax at the EU’s borders, was rejected at the general surprise by 340 votes against (265 for, 34 abstentions), the Green and left MEPs castigating the proposals of the EPP (right) and Renew (centrist and liberals) on the timetable and the objectives.

The European Parliament was to vote on Wednesday on eight of the fourteen texts of the roadmap proposed in July 2021 by the European Commission to reduce by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990, the greenhouse gas emissions of the EU.

“What an awful day”

“Thunderbolt! The majority must review their copy (…) because of rules that are not ambitious enough. The climate does not wait”commented MEP Karima Delli (Greens).

“What a terrible day. It’s a shame to see the far right vote with the socialists and the greens”, retorted Peter Liese (EPP), rapporteur for the rejected text, in a very electric atmosphere within the hemicycle of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The German MEP called for the text to be revised in the parliamentary committee to propose a revised version for a subsequent vote, which a large majority of MEPs approved.

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A reduction in CO2 emissions reduced by 63%

The legislative proposal submitted to MEPs on the carbon market reflected a compromise reached between the EPP (pro-European right, the main force in Parliament) and Renew (centrists and liberals).

In particular, it provided for a reduction of 63% by 2030, compared to 2005, in emissions from sectors subject to the European carbon market: better than the objective proposed by the Commission (-61%), but significantly lower than to the vote in the Environment Parliamentary Committee (-67%).

It also adjusted the timetable for eliminating the free emission quotas granted to European industrialists, as imports into the EU of polluting sectors will be taxed on the basis of the price of European CO2.

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