S&Ds broker a deal to have the ETS reserve functioning as soon as possible

Set-back in the fight against climate change as EPP crushes ambitious reform of Emission Trading System

Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today supported a compromise agreement with other political groups to ensure that the Emissions Trading System’s (ETS) shortcomings are fixed as soon as possible and in the most efficient manner.

The European Parliament wants a Market Stability Reserve (MSR) in place for the ETS by December 2018 at the latest, according to the deal voted today in the environment committee.

S&D spokesperson on climate and environment, Matthias Groote, said :

"We need stability and predictability in the EU-ETS. This is why the stability reserve has to come into force as soon as possible and no later than 2018. This is the best compromise we could achieve.

"More important than the starting date is the reallocation of the unallocated and back-loaded allowances, that will now be put into the reserve. Thus, there will be no unnecessary surplus of allowances on the market.

"Stability is key for all sectors to make the necessary investments for sustainable economic growth and job creation.

"The ETS is one of the main pillars of EU climate policy and has the potential to inspire other regions in the world. This is why a well-functioning and reformed ETS with an instrument to stabilise the market will be the main European instrument to achieve the Union's greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.

"Furthermore, the vote in the environmental committee also sends a clear message towards the climate negotiations in Paris in December this year." 

S&D spokesperson on ETS in the industry committee, MEP Theresa Griffin, said:

"The EU-ETS is the cornerstone of the European Union's efforts to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases. By creating a Market Stability Reserve we are fixing the problems which currently exist with the ETS. At present there is a massive surplus of allowances on the market and the ETS is not fit for its purpose. Introducing a MSR will help to address this surplus.

"By supporting the reallocation of the back-loaded allowances in the market as well as an early start date for the scheme, we are taking a progressive stance on sustainability and sending a strong signal from the Parliament to the Council about taking decisive action on climate policy. Developing a strong EU-ETS will enable us to create high-quality jobs in green technologies, safeguard industries, reduce overall EU emissions and will promote a sustainable economy for years to come.

"The S&D Group worked hard to deliver a strong reform of the EU-ETS and I hope this vision will be taken into account in the Council."

The Parliament will now engage in negotiations with member states for a final decision.