07 Jun 2022, 13:12
Julian Wettengel

NGO calls on EU lawmakers to vote for ambitious emissions trading reform


Clean Energy Wire / Reuters

Environmental NGOs from Germany are among the lobby groups making last-minute efforts to influence European Union lawmakers, who are scheduled to vote on key elements of the bloc’s future climate and energy legislation this week (8 June). The Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) called on parliamentarians to vote for a strengthened EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). The NGO expects a clear stance from the parliamentarians, said managing director Leif Miller. “It is not acceptable that industry receives free certificates for another ten years and operates at the expense of future generations.” The issuance of allowances must “reflect the actual shortages of the emissions budget” as well as the “actual price of CO₂ emissions,” he said. The European Commission proposed to reform the existing EU ETS so that it leads to a 61 percent emission reduction in the covered sectors by 2030 (compared to 2005). Parliament is likely to demand more, as its environment committee proposed a 67 percent cut. In addition, the Commission aims to phase out the free allocation of emission allowances to aviation and to the sectors that are to be covered by the planned Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). This has been a major moot point, especially for industry.

The European Parliament is set to vote on key elements of the so-called ‘Fit for 55’ package of climate and energy laws, which is meant to put the bloc on track to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030 (over 1990 levels). The new climate target and the ‘Fit for 55’ package are key components of the bloc’s green growth strategy – the European Green Deal. Proposals face multiple amendments in Parliament this week and the outcome is uncertain for some of the most ambitious plans, reported Reuters.

The news agency also reported that lawmakers have been inundated by lobbyists ahead of the vote, and e-mails showed a last-minute lobbying push from industries unhappy with the positions approved by Parliament's environment committee. Such efforts also include a group of engineers and researchers speaking out against the planned phase-out of combustion engine cars by 2035. Parts of the German car industry – especially suppliers – have long fought to keep the combustion engine car alive. Under the Commission’s proposal, all new passenger cars must produce zero CO2 emissions at their tailpipe by 2035.

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