Scottish Conservative MEP Ian Duncan, a member of the right-wing Eurosceptic ECR political grouping, has been appointed rapporteur for the post-2020 EU ETS reforms and is tasked with steering the package through the European Parliament.
Duncan was selected by fellow MEPs in a vote on Wednesday morning, according to an emailed statement from the Parliament.
“The ETS as it stands is broken. This may be our only chance to prove to Europe and the rest of the world that emissions trading systems can work,” Duncan said.
“We need to strike the right balance between protecting industry and jobs, and meeting our climate change obligations. I don’t think those goals are mutually exclusive, but I do know that the EU ETS as it stands is not delivering either.”
“I want to be as open and as transparent as possible in dealing with this report, taking in as wide a range of views as possible.”
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.
Duncan was a shadow rapporteur who 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 Mike Szabo and Ben Garside – email@example.com