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EU countries propose limited reform of EU climate policy

28 February 2017
by CAN Europe -- last modified 28 February 2017

EU Environment Ministers meeting in Brussels today have reached an agreement on the revision of the Emission Trading System (ETS) for the next decade.


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EU Environment Ministers meeting in Brussels today have reached an agreement on the revision of the Emission Trading System (ETS) for the next decade. According to Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, the outcome, while slightly better than expected, is far too weak to repair the broken scheme or align the EU's planned emission reductions with the global temperature goals it committed to under the Paris Agreement.

The Ministers proposed to scale up emission cuts, beyond what the European Commission has initially put forward, by doubling the number of pollution permits stored in the Market Stability Reserve for the first four years of its operation and automatically cancelling a number of pollution permit in the MSR after 2024 if the total number reaches a certain threshold.

Commenting on the results of the meeting, Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe said:

"Ministers recognized that the Paris Agreement requires scaling up emission cuts. By comparison to where we started the reform process, today's decision is a small step in the right direction. By comparison to where we should be to stop the climate crisis, this decision is a wasted opportunity. The results are nowhere near to what the EU needs to do turn the ETS into a policy that reduces emissions."

"Ministers will have to come back to the table soon to revise the ETS again. Within the next few years, the EU will need to revise its pledge under the Paris Agreement. Then EU Member States will have to redo this exercise and ensure a real reform of the ETS to contribute to greater climate action overall."

The revision of the ETS will now be negotiated in trialogue meetings between the Parliament, the Council and the Commission. The European Parliament adopted its position on 15th February.

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 130 member organisations in more than 30 European countries - representing over 44 million citizens - CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.

Climate Action Network
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