Ruling threatens to delay key emissions trading report

28-Apr-2016 @ 01:00

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Conservative MEP Ian Duncan is calling on the European Commission to respond urgently to a legal ruling which places a question mark over its flagship Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

The European Court of Justice today declared that the method the Commission used to calculate free emission allowances granted to the most polluting industries from 2013 was invalid and has given it ten months to come up new procedures.

However, unless that timescale is significantly speeded up, it will disrupt the European Parliament's own proposals for how the next phase of the scheme should operate, which were due to be tabled in the next few weeks.

The plans for Phase IV are based on the same percentage of free allowances being offered as in 2013, but because that figure has now been declared invalid it makes it difficult for the Parliament to proceed until a solution is found.

Scotland MEP Mr Duncan, who is drawing up the Parliament's report, said: "We suddenly find ourselves in legal limbo at a time of critical importance to the Phase IV reform. The Commission needs to clarify the situation as quickly as possible.

"This ruling is significant because it will affect how many allowances are to be offered free during Phase 4. According to early analysis the share could have to move from 57% to 58%."

The ETS aims to cut pollution by creating a market in permits allowing industries to discharge greenhouse gases, so creating a financial incentive for businesses to reduce emissions.

Free allowances are offered to the most polluting sectors such as chemicals, steel and oil refineries to prevent jobs being lost to countries with less stringent anti-pollution rules.

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