The EU has taken an important step forward in its efforts to achieve the Paris climate goals. Late last night, representatives of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers reached a final agreement on a thorough reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). This reform will limit the emissions of over 12,000 industrial plants and energy suppliers in the EU, ensuring a total reduction of 40% of CO2 emissions by 2030.
Ivo Belet MEP, responsible for the dossier on behalf of the EPP Group, said: “The ETS is an essential part of EU climate policy. Without this ambitious reform, it would be impossible to achieve the Paris goals. Throughout the negotiations, we kept one goal in mind: steadily reducing CO2 emissions while safeguarding jobs and European competitiveness. This means providing the right incentives for European companies to consume and produce energy sustainably, while at the same time protecting industries from unfair international competition and avoiding so-called carbon leakage.”
Esther de Lange MEP, EPP Group Spokeswoman in the EP’s Industry Committee, added: “This agreement is based on realism and a clear business case for the future instead of a complete fossil-free shock therapy from one day to the next. It was crucial to achieve an approach that would allow the whole of Europe to move in the same direction, and not just the least industrialised countries, and which is fair to SMEs. This deal will achieve a gradual and large-scale transformation of our economy towards more sustainable production and achieve the Paris targets.”
Peter Liese MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in the EP’s Environment Committee, concluded: "With this reform, the price of CO2 will significantly increase and the ETS will finally achieve its purpose. At the same time, energy-intensive industry will be protected, provided they achieve strict benchmarks. This means we are going to fight climate change, promote innovation and protect existing jobs and create new ones."
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 216 Members from 27 Member States
The current ETS policy has been in effect since 2005 and restricts greenhouse gas emissions by energy-intensive industries, power producers and airlines. The ETS works via the auction and allocation of a fixed amount of tradable allowances. By putting a cap on the total amount of emissions and reducing this cap over time, it stimulates companies to reduce their emission output and to further save energy and/or switch to renewable energy.