EU leaders open door for EU Emissions Trading System to benefit poorer countries but fail to agree on a concrete signal ahead of Paris

Oxfam welcomes today’s orientation debate on the EU Emissions Trading System as some Member States spoke out in favor of the ETS being a more predictable source of funds for climate action in poor countries.

Lies Craeynest, Oxfam’s EU climate advisor said:

“Today’s discussion by EU environment ministers offers a glimmer of hope a month away from the Paris climate talks by suggesting its emissions trading system could be part of the solution to the problem of finding additional climate finance. Ministers from Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Slovenia have identified a way to stop diverting money from over-stretched development aid budgets.

The EU ETS already includes two funding mechanisms, one to support the poorer EU members and the other for "industry innovation". Ministers should now urgently agree a third mechanism that sets aside emissions allowances for the Green Climate Fund. This could potentially triple EU contributions to the Fund and smooth the path toward a new climate deal in Paris.”

Notes to editors: 
  • Oxfam estimates that a 10% set-aside of revenues in an EU level International Climate Action Mechanism could raise on average an additional 3.4 billion Euros per year from 2020, tripling the EU’s current contributions to the Green Climate Fund.
  • The European Parliament in their position for COP21 called for a set aside of revenues from the EU ETS for climate finance and the Green Climate Fund. EP Paris text, as adopted, is now online.
  • Oxfam released in June a briefing note “The ETS International Climate Reserve – the EU ETS as a source of international climate finance” that presents a proposal by Oxfam and others to deliver increased financial support for climate action by poor and vulnerable countries by holding a % of emissions permits in an EU Climate Reserve and allocate the auctioning revenues to the Green Climate Fund. This could boost the EU’s climate finance contributions ahead of the climate negotiations at COP 21 in Paris this December, where climate finance will play a key role in bringing about a successful outcome.
Contact information: 

Joanna Sullivan, tel 00 32 474 349 458
Email joanna.sullivan@oxfaminternational.org

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