European Parliament endorses emission trading scheme

In a vote in the European Parliament on 10 October, parliamentarians voted 381 to 66 in favour of the new emissions trading scheme, which could start in 2005.

The scheme is intended to cut the cost of the EU meeting the Kyoto Protocol targets by €1.3 billion every year, and would enter into force in two stages consisting of a two-year trial phase starting in 2005 and a second stage starting in 2008.

With a majority of 448 votes to 24, MEPs called for mandatory participation by member states from 2005, but with the proviso that states should have limited rights to exempt individual installations.

Parliament also aims to keep up the pressure on other countries to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, by voting that agreements recognising third nations’ emission trading schemes must be subject to ratification of the Protocol. MEPs also stated that member states should not be allowed to use credits earned from implementing Kyoto Protocol projects that involve carbon sinks or nuclear energy sources in the emission trading scheme.

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