The European Parliament will not accept a deal forged by EU member states that would wait until 2021 to launch the MSR, senior MEPs warned on Thursday, putting pressure on governments to consider backing an earlier start date for EU ETS reforms to begin.
“2021 is too late. Even 2019 is pushing the limit. The sooner the better,” said MEP Ian Duncan, who led the right-leaning ECR political group on the file, when asked if the 2021 was a red line issue for the bloc’s elected representative.
This view was backed by Bas Eickhout, Green party leader on the MSR, while liberal ALDE group leader Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy had already called a 2021 start “unacceptable”.
Most EU governments favour an earlier start to the MSR than the 2021 date proposed by the European Commission, but Poland leads a blocking minority that is insisting on the original date, leaving negotiations deadlocked.
Latvia has tried to bridge the divide by proposing to launch the MSR in 2021 filled with the 900 million backloaded allowances, aiming to agree a position to start negotiations with MEPs.
The Parliament last month agreed its position after all major political groupings in the environment committee backed a start by 2019, although support is less clear-cut across the wider assembly. Both the Parliament and member states must agree for the bill to pass into law.
Even if Latvia’s proposal is adopted by the member states, parliamentary envoys will enter the so-called trilogue talks with a strong mandate from their MEP committee colleagues, and their position could be further bolstered by the knowledge that at least 15 member states support a pre-2021 launch.
By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org