UK Government ‘disappointed’ with vote against EU ETS backloading proposal

The UK Government has expressed its disappointment in yesterday's vote rejecting the European Commissions backloading proposal under the controversial EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) but said it respects the views of MEPs.

The European Commission proposed to freeze 900 million allowances from the market over the next two years in a plan to push up the price of carbon and make low carbon investments more attractive.

A narrow vote, the proposal received 334 votes against to 315 with more than 60 abstentions and will now receive further consideration from the Parliament’s environment committee.

In response to the outcome of the vote, a DECC spokesperson said: “The UK Government is disappointed at the Parliament’s vote but respects its view.

“The UK understands that the ENVI Committee will now discuss the proposals once more, and therefore hopes that a positive outcome can still be achieved.

“In parallel, the UK Government feels that we should now focus on the real issue – the urgent need for structural reform.

According to DECC, the UK has been discussing how best to reform the EU ETS with participants and stakeholders and similar debates will be taking place in other countries.

“The Commission must now bring forward concrete legislative proposals for reform of the EU ETS later this year, following their current consultations on their Carbon Market Report,” the spokesperson said.

“The UK has long argued for a move to tighten the EU ETS cap and supports cancellation of an ambitious volume of allowances as one way to bring this about”.

Last week, a group of prominent environment ministers, including Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey called on the European Parliament to support the implementation of backloading for the EU ETS.

Leigh Stringer

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie