Ian Duncan, ERC’s rapporteur on the ETS, took the European Parliament’s approval to proceed with the European Council while his colleagues approve his ENVI Committee report on greenhouse-gas emission curbs through the EU carbon market (EU-ETS).
The report got approved by the Chamber majority, and the EU carbon market is advised to adhere to the rules laid out by the Paris Agreement. Wednesday’s vote approved the Commission’s proposal to reduce the number of “carbon credits” (emission allowances) that will be auctioned by 2.2% each year.
“I am very grateful to my colleagues for supporting this report. Today’s vote marks a major step forward towards meeting our ambitious climate change targets,” said Duncan.
The Commission’s proposal was supported by 379 MEPs wile 263 rejected the proposal and 57 abstained, out of 699 MEPs that took part of the vote.
Duncan said to his colleagues that “the ETS is not working well right now,” adding as a second point that the Paris Agreement was a true game changer. The third point was that the EU needed to offer its industry “sensible protection, but at the same time they should be expected to step up their efforts as well, as this was a stepping stone to a serious trilogy.
“Thank you for your contributions, thank you for joining me for my birthday,” concluded Duncan – he had turned 43 just two days before Wednesday’s vote.
Duncan’s report got backed by 408 out of the 631 MEPs that voted and will head back to the Committee, before starting the trilogy procedure.
The MEPs backed a doubling of the intake rate for the Market Stability Reserve (MSR), along with the emission allowance causes, during the first four years of its operation. It will withhold surplus carbon allowances starting from 2019.
Duncan negotiated with the European Council in order for the MSR to withdraw 24% of the surplus each year, a rate double the 12% figure that was initially proposed by the European Commission.
The European Parliament rejected the proposed import inclusion mechanism.
Important changes for the EU Modernisation Fund
The 10 member states that would have initially benefitted from the “green energy” projects covered by the EU-ETS Modernisation fund – Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia – will soon be joined by Greece. This development comes after an amendment succeeded in calculating the eligibility of member states to receive money from the Modernisation fund.
According to 2013 GDP calculations, Greece was slightly below 60% of the EU average GDP necessary to join the fund. All other years, the country would have been eligible to join the fund, as described in 10D article of the proposal.
Greece Public Power Company (PPC) may have to alter the lignite strategy after the vote, as only renewable energy programme will be eligible to funding.