MEPs rejected the report on the review of the EU’s emissions trading system during Wednesday’s plenary session in Strasbourg. The three projects in the Fit for 55 package have been referred to the European Parliament’s Environment Committee. These include the controversial emissions trading system.
On Wednesday (June 8) MEPs rejected the report on the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) by a majority of 340 votes.
The report was rejected by the votes of the Socialists (S&D), the Greens and the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) and the European Conservatives and Reformists, including Law and Justice (ECR) and the Identity and Democracy (ID) faction. The largest group in the EP – the European People’s Party – voted in favor of the report.
Polish MEPs – Izabela Kloc (PiS) and Adam Jarubas (PSL) – reported that the reason for the Socialists’ vote was approval of the Carbon Frontier Mechanism (CBAM), a trajectory for the withdrawal of free allowances for industry sectors to be tested. The solution was developed in the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), where it was approved by a broad coalition of political groups (EPP, S&D, Renew, ECR).
“The amendments of the ITRE committee stipulated that the phasing out of free allowances would not start until 2028. Socialists calculated that they could simply ignore these recommendations. At a crucial moment, the majority in the room showed support for these amendments,” emphasized Izabela Clock, quoted by PAP.
She added that voting for the leadership of the socialist group and dividing their own votes was a failure. “Socialists have decided to vote against the ETS report, ie they have decided to throw the entire report in the bin for fear that they would have to consider the proposals of the ITRE committee as binding. The rapporteurs of the three main reports of the Fit for 55 package, namely the ETS, the Social Climate Fund and CBAM, saw that they did not have a majority to reject the main amendments, and asked for a vote to refer their reports back to Commission. It happened too. Work on the reports will have to start from scratch’, emphasized Kloc.
The ECJ is controversial
The emissions trading system is part of the European Union’s current climate policy that is the most controversial. He is criticized by the Polish government, among others.
Currently, the system allows the participation of financial institutions engaged in price speculation, which greatly increases the value of licenses.
In addition to the provisions on the ETS, MEPs also referred to the projects of the Environmental Protection Commission on the mechanism of price adjustment at borders taking into account CO2 emissions and the Social Climate Fund. 265 MPs voted in favor of the bills and 34 abstained.
The Commission will have to reconsider the legality of the returned bills and propose possible changes. If committee members reach a compromise, the bills are again put to the vote in the European Parliament.
There is no shortage of comments that the majority in the European Parliament on Wednesday voted for a slowdown in climate policy, and the views of some MEPs have been changed by the economic and social fallout from the war in Ukraine.
After February 24, commodity prices skyrocketed and inventory problems worsened. Many economies suddenly had to switch back to less green generation sources to fill the gaps in the energy mix.
The EPP Group on social media that “what happens in the votes is what happens if pro-European MEPs do not cooperate enough”. ‘Premature withdrawal of unpaid benefits threatens European jobs. The EPP Group is ready to find a solution and a way forward.”
What is Fit for 55?
The European Union unveiled the Fit for 55 program in July 2021, with more ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The package raises the EU’s 2030 emission reduction target from 40% to 55%. compared to 1990 levels. The legislation contained therein will increase pressure to reduce emissions in energy-intensive industry and energy as well as construction and transport.
The reform package tightens the original regulations, which are expected to accelerate the Community’s efforts to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
The provisions proposed in Fit for 55 and in the second part of the package presented in December are a legislative proposal submitted by the European Commission and the European Parliament for discussion among Member States.
The package consists of 13 legislative proposals, some of which are new and some amendments to existing legislation. Current EU regulations have been updated: the revision of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), the reform of the LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry) regulations, the revision of the Effort Sharing (ESR)- regulation, renewable energy (RED), amendment of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFID), amendment of the regulation specifying CO2 emission standards for passenger cars and vans and revision of the directive energy tax.
The new legislative proposals include a new EU Forestry Strategy, the Carbon Dioxide Limits Regulatory Mechanism (CBAM), the Social Instrument for Climate Action, ReFuelEU Aviation (for sustainable aviation fuels) and FuelEU Maritim (for greening Europe’s maritime space).