Good for climate, jobs and people / Joint action in Europe lowers costs / Tailwind for innovative companies / Inclusion of waste incineration / Some extreme proposals of the Environment Committee will not survive the plenary session

"The approval of most of my colleagues in the Environment Committee to my report on emissions trading is good for the climate, for jobs and for people," said the environment spokesman for the largest group in the European Parliament (EPP, Christian Democrats) in view of the final vote on the reform of the European emissions trading system. The report was adopted by 62 votes (62/20/5).

“I consider it a great success that companies that invest in climate-friendly technologies and thus secure jobs in Europe in the long term will get a tailwind. They are to receive not only financial resources from the Climate Investment Fund (previously the Innovation Fund), but also free certificates. "We have decided on three different mechanisms for this. In return, however, it will be very hard for those who want to continue operating old dirty plants. Anyone in Europe who does not invest in climate neutrality, has no future and should not be supported by the EU," Liese said.

MEPs also decided by a large majority to include waste incineration in the ETS system after an impact assessment in 2025.

The new ETS for heat and transport was particularly controversial. Finally, a large majority of 69 % (61/22/5) voted in favour of the compromise. According to Liese, a drop of bitterness is that the inclusion of private heat demand and private transport will only happen from 2029 and also only after another co-decision procedure in Parliament. "I would have liked to see a different solution here and fought against such a separation until the end. However, this was unfortunately not possible due to the opposition of the Social Democrats and the Greens, as well as many Renew MEPs, and right-wing parties. In the end, a step-by-step approach is better than killing this important instrument outright, as the Social Democrats, Greens and right-wingers had requested at the beginning of the process. It is important that the Social Climate Fund nevertheless starts in 2024. From our point of view, medium-sized companies should also be supported from this fund, because they are, after all, initially the only ones affected by the CO2 price and some of them are definitely in a tough international competition," explained Liese. MEPs also agreed to include industrial process heating in addition to the Commission's proposal. “Joint action lowers costs. Even the UK is considering linking its emissions trading system back to ours,” said Liese.

Liese was very pleased that the majority of the committee supported indirect cost compensation: "Companies that are very electricity-intensive and have higher costs due to the high ETS price must be supported if they are in international competition. In some places, however, the compromise of the Environment Committee goes too far for me personally. A majority of leftists, greens, social democrats and Renew has decided on a drastic tightening of the climate target for 2024. Particularly in the current phase, when we need to become independent of Russian gas and renewable energies will not be scaled up sufficiently until 2024, I think this is wrong. Coal is indeed harmful to the climate and dirty, but nothing is dirtier than the war we are helping to finance through our payments to Russia for gas. We are in favour of sharing the burden evenly. In 2027 to 2030, based on everything we can say now, renewables are significantly more developed and that's why we will definitely reach the 2030 target, even if there is no big ambition increase in emissions trading in 2024," Liese said.

“Similarly, I do not consider the dramatic advance of the introduction of the carbon border adjustment mechanism, the expiry of free allowances (five years earlier than proposed by the Commission), as decided by the majority, to be justifiable. I am sure that other majorities will emerge in plenary. The Liberals in particular do not feel comfortable in the company of the Left, Greens and Social Democrats that the group has chosen in the Environment Committee and will hopefully agree to moderate compromises that we will present to the plenary," said Liese.