Oxfam reaction to European Parliament vote on EU emissions trading scheme

Published: 19 June 2013

Today the European Parliament's Environment Committee voted for a compromise deal on a European Commission proposal to reverse a decline in the price of carbon on the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The proposal called for the auctioning of 2013-15 emissions allowances to be delayed until 2018-20.

The compromise deal supported backloading, but MEPs voted for allowances to be brought back to the market earlier than planned by the Commission. The compromise deal also included a fund to be replenished through the auctioning of 600 million of the 900 million allowances that would be held back as a result of the backloading proposal. The fund would be used ‘for supporting development of innovative low carbon technologies, demonstration projects and measures intended to reduce the costs and carbon emissions of energy intensive industries, and for social and skill-related aspects of the low-carbon transition’.

In response to today’s vote, Lies Craeynest, Oxfam’s EU climate change expert, said:

“Today's vote sent a signal to markets that EU climate policy is here to stay, though the compromise adopted will weaken the Commission’s original proposal substantially. The upcoming structural reform of the ETS will need to be much more ambitious to help stave off dangerous climate change which threatens the food security of millions around the world.” 

“The proposal for a new fund makes lots of sense but it should be aimed at funding real climate solutions at home and meeting the EU’s promises to help poor countries deal with climate change abroad, rather than propping up energy-intensive industries.”

"As today’s World Bank report showed, the food security implications of a 2-degree warmed world in Sub-Saharan Africa alone could see the proportion of undernourished people increase by almost double by 2050."

Notes to Editors

Oxfam reaction to new World Bank report, Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience, which explores the likely impacts of 2 degrees and 4 degrees warming on communities across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South East Asia.

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