MEPs fail to ensure support for poor countries in adapting to effects of climate change

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee has voted on the reform of the EU’s polluter-pays scheme. It supports using revenues from the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to help the least develop countries adapt to the impacts of climate change, but it failed to introduce new rules to ensure this will effectively happen, Oxfam criticised.

Oxfam’s EU policy advisor Marc-Olivier Herman said:

“Today’s vote is all talk and too little action. The poorest countries, which bear no responsibility in global warming, are left with nice words, but with no assurance to receive support in adapting to the inevitable and devastating impacts of climate change. The Parliament’s plenary and European member states now have to make sure that a share of the revenues from pollution permits is set aside to support the poorest countries most affected by climate change.

“The text adopted today by the Environment Committee also fails to set ambitious new limits for climate-damaging emissions of the EU’s industry after 2020. In its current form, the reform proposal will not ensure the price of carbon will be sufficiently high to trigger the changes needed to meet Europe’s commitments under the Paris climate agreement. In addition, MEPs failed to put an end to perverse incentives for unsustainable bioenergy such as burning trees to produce electricity.”

Notes to editors: 
  • The Environment Committee’s report on the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) includes a reference to the need of supporting poor countries to adapt to climate change, but it has no binding provisions.
  • The plenary of the European Parliament will vote on the ETS reform in early 2017. European environment ministers will discuss their position on the reform next Monday, 19 December. Parliament and Council must agree on the legislation before it will be finally adopted.
  • In June, Oxfam released the briefing note “The ETS International Climate Reserve – the EU ETS as a source of international climate finance”. It presents a proposal by Oxfam and its partner organisations to deliver increased financial support for climate action by poor and vulnerable countries by holding up to 10% of emissions permits in an EU Climate Reserve and allocate the auctioning revenues to the Green Climate Fund.
Contact information: 

Florian Oel | Brussels | florian.oel@oxfaminternational.org | office +32 2 234 11 15 | mobile +32 473 56 22 60

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