Divided Parliament votes down EU carbon market reform

(EurActiv, 8 Jun 2022) Lawmakers on the left and right wings of the Hemicycle traded accusations on Wednesday (8 June) as the European Parliament voted to reject a proposed reform of the EU carbon market, the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Parties on the far-right and the far-left, as well as the Greens and Social Democrats, formed an unlikely alliance on Wednesday by rejecting the proposed overhaul.

It was rejected by a clear majority, with 340 votes against and 265 in favour, with 34 abstentions.

Initially tabled in July last year, the reform of the EU’s carbon market will now be sent back to the European Parliament’s environment committee, which will attempt to forge a new compromise.

As a consequence, related votes to introduce an EU carbon border tax and climate social fund were postponed until further notice as both proposals are closely tied to the ETS reform.

One diplomat said this risks delaying negotiations with EU member countries to finalise the package, as capitals will “likely have to wait for the European Parliament to stop squabbling”.

Green and Socialist lawmakers rejected the proposal because of conservative groups’ amendments they said weakened it too much, while right-wing groups considered it too ambitious, especially in the light of inflationary pressures.

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EurActiv, 8 Jun 2022: Divided Parliament votes down EU carbon market reform