A member of the right wing, Eurosceptic ECR political grouping will steer the post-2020 EU ETS reform proposal through the bloc’s parliament, a party official confirmed on Thursday.
The ECR is expected to select a rapporteur for the role next week, following the decision among parties to allocate the file at a meeting in Brussels.
A rapporteur is tasked with a neutral role in chairing discussions among political party groupings and setting a legislative timetable, initially in the Parliament’s environment committee.
The ECR is made up mostly of MEPs from the Eurosceptic UK Conservative party and Poland’s PiS, the party of national MP Piotr Naimski who last week said failure to strike a global climate pact would be in Poland’s interests.
A leading candidate for the role is Scottish Conservative MEP Ian Duncan, who as a shadow rapporteur co-ordinated his party’s position on the MSR and was among the Parliament’s delegation at the Lima UN climate conference.
While lawmakers eventually agreed the MSR to start in 2019, Duncan supported moves to launch it as early as 2017.
Elected in 2014, Duncan is a relatively inexperienced MEP, though he previously spent eight years in Brussels as an envoy for the Scottish Parliament.
The rapporteur’s first task will be to write a report responding to the European Commission proposal, published in July and setting out how the EU ETS will meet its share of the bloc’s overall goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40% under 1990 levels.
The proposal must be agreed by a majority of member states and the bloc’s parliament and is expected to take at least a year to be agreed.
The length of the bill’s passage into law could depend on whether lawmakers are comfortable in advancing its work ahead of related bills covering non-ETS and land use sectors, which are only due to be published in the first half of 2016.
By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org