The EU ETS is failing to deliver emission reductions now or drive innovations for future cuts said Ian Duncan, the MEP that will steer the market’s proposed Phase 4 changes through the bloc’s Parliament.
“The carbon market now is a bit like a car without any fuel. It’s not going anywhere, that’s evident, it’s not driving forward innovation, it’s not driving forward change, it’s not delivering against our ultimate climate change targets. Frankly, I think trying to stop it breaking again in the future is very much something for another day – let’s try and get the bloody thing working again now,” said Duncan in an interview with EurActiv published on Wednesday.
He said it was no surprise we are not seeing carbon leakage with prices at €8, but suspected evidence of it could emerge as prices rise. He expects provisions for carbon leakage protection to be the “beating heart” of the debate on the proposal.
The MEP has pledged not to come up with an initial response to the proposal until after December UN climate talks in Paris, but called into question European Commission assessments predicting the reforms will drive carbon prices to an average of €25 over 2021-2030.
“When you step forward, and look forward to the horizon, it is very hard to be certain of any of these figures,” he said.
Duncan’s role as rapporteur on the proposal is intended to be politically neutral, though the position can have substantial influence in determining the timing and prioritisation of the bill’s passage.
Dutch Green MEP Bas Eickhout, a veteran of climate policy scrutiny, said on Twitter that he had been appointed by his group to co-ordinate its position on the file as shadow rapporteur, joining Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Netherlands, liberal ALDE group, Katerina Konecna, Czech Republic, GUE green leftist group and Eleonora Evi, Italy, eurosceptic EFD.
The Parliament forms one half of the EU legislative Co-decision procedure, with a majority of both the assembly and the EU Council of Member States needed for it to become law, in a process expected to take at least a year.
The EU Parliament has consistently pushed for more ambitious reforms of the bloc’s carbon market in recent years, only for measures to be diluted when attempting to reach a compromise with the Council.