Green MEPs welcome improvements to climate deal as European Parliament approves renegotiated emissions proposals
The European Parliament has approved improved EU emissions proposals, two weeks after MEPs rejected efforts to water down European climate ambitions. Green Party MEPs Ciarán Cuffe and Grace O’Sullivan welcomed the improvements made to the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS), a law that limits greenhouse gas emissions. Following renegotiations, the system of free allowances for industry pollution will end in 2032, while the phase-out of this system will begin at the slightly later date of 2027. The new deal maintains the minimum standards for climate protection, although the proposal remains out of line with the Paris Agreement goal to maintain global temperature increases below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Ciarán Cuffe, Green MEP for Dublin, said: “Today’s decision is a step forward, not as much as we would like, but it represents progress. While we would have preferred a more ambitious proposal, the worst elements from the previous deal have been removed. The record-breaking and deadly heat wave seen in Europe over the last week reminds us that climate change is a present, and not a future problem. EU action to limit emissions therefore needs to be swift and ambitious, if we are to have any hope of saving lives and livelihoods from the devastating impacts of global warming.”
Grace O’Sullivan, Green MEP for Ireland South, said: “The Emissions Trading System could be the single most effective measure for reducing the EU’s carbon emissions. Similarly, the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism will ensure the worst polluters cannot simply relocate abroad for business as usual. We’ve been fighting tooth and nail since the beginning of this mandate with our Greens colleagues for the most ambitious approach to the ETS and CBAM against both industry and vested interests. It’s time to put it into action.”
Green Party Leader and Minister for Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport, Eamon Ryan TD said: "I welcome the European Parliament's approval of these emissions proposals but, like my Green MEP colleagues, I would have liked to see the targets go further. While there is nothing easy about decarbonising the way we do business, or how we work, travel and live, we cannot shy away from the challenge. Here in Ireland, we are in the midst of discussions to set sectoral emissions targets to meet our economy-wide aim to halve emissions by 2030. It is clear from all sectors that they are going to find it challenging to meet the necessary sector ceilings. However, as today's vote in the European Parliament shows, agreement can be reached to improve targets to tackle the climate crisis"
Green MEPs Cuffe and O’Sullivan welcomed parliamentary approval for further elements of the Fit for 55 climate package, including the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which prices carbon emissions of products imported from non-EU countries and incentivises those countries to decarbonise their production. Parliament also approved the first ever EU Social Climate Fund, which will support the most vulnerable households to pay for their energy bills and transport.