The European Parliament rejects the divisive reform of the European carbon market

The European Parliament rejects the divisive reform of the European carbon market

Lawmakers from the left and right in the hemicycle accused each other on Wednesday (June 8) after the European Parliament voted to reject a proposal to reform Europe’s carbon market, the emissions trading scheme emissions (EU ETS).

The far-right parties, the Greens and the Social Democrats, formed an unexpected alliance on Wednesday by rejecting the reform proposal.

It was rejected by a clear majority, with 340 votes against and 265 in favor, and 34 abstentions.

Initially tabled last July, the reform will now be referred to the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, which will try to forge a new compromise.

But diplomats say this risks delaying negotiations with EU countries to finalize the reform, as capitals will have to “probably wait for the European Parliament to stop bickering”.

“The Social Democrats and the Greens have failed to take responsibility for climate protection”said Peter Liese, a German MEP from the center-right European People’s Party (EPP), who was the lead legislator on the reform proposal.

According to Mr Liese, the left-wing parties have tried to take the reform too far by asking for a 63% reduction in emissions under the EU ETS, more than the 61% initially proposed by the European Commission in its proposal for Last year.

“For the Greens and the Social Democrats, it just didn’t go far enough. They wanted a 67% cut and a higher one-off cut just as we face the crisis in Russia and the need to become less dependent on Russian gas”Mr. Liese said.

“I think it’s really indecent, and I hope we can correct this mistake.”

The Greens, for their part, have accused Mr Liese’s EPP of bowing to pressure from the fossil fuel industry to water down the reform.

“Peter Liese has failed with his alliance with the fossils”said Michael Bloss, a German MEP representing the Greens in EU ETS reform. “Conservatives, liberals and members of the right have been handed over [à] their place “he added in comments sent by email.

“As far as the 1.5 degree climate target is concerned, this represents great hope”added Mr. Bloss, believing that “Negotiations have to start all over again. »

Reacting on TwitterMartin Hojsík, a Slovak MEP from the centrist Renew Europe group in parliament, appeared to side with the Greens, saying the EPP had lost support from leftist parties by siding with nationalists and conservative parties in parliament.

Pascal Canfin, chairman of the Parliament’s Environment Committee, agreed with the EPP that the war in Ukraine has driven up energy prices, adding pressure on European businesses and consumers.

“But we can draw two different conclusions: on the one hand, we must refrain from imposing an additional burden [sur les entreprises], and on the other hand, we must accelerate the ecological transition. »

“And in reality, both are true”he said in comments immediately after the vote.

The French centrist MEP said he would “everything i can” to solve the question and “Find the best possible compromise” on the reform of the ETS.

“And I think I have to go because we are going to start negotiating this compromise right now”he said before leaving the room.

Early signs of a compromise, however, were not encouraging. “If you break it, you fix it”said a senior EPP source. “We hope that the Socialists will present a proposal so that the file can be settled. »


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