European lawmakers reject EU ETS reform but vote to ban diesel cars


Members of the European Parliament (EP) last week rejected proposals to include marine and road transport in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). On the other hand, a proposal to expand its carbon market to all departing flights was approved.

During debate in the European Parliament, center-right MEPs argued that the ETS plans would be inflationary given the present trading conditions, especially the war in Ukraine and large increases in fuel costs. Nonetheless, social democrats and green MEPs believed that the revisions had significantly watered down the ETS and refused to support it.

Following the vote, the ETS reform may be further blocked. The EU’s Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) now has until June 23 to find a compromise solution to the reform. If a consensus cannot be reached, the legislation may be postponed.

“Europe’s lawmakers have delivered a strong signal,” said Jo Dardenne, aviation director at green lobby group Transport & Environment. “The vast majority of Europe’s aviation emissions will no longer be disregarded, marking a significant step forward in combating highly polluting long-haul flights. National governments must now make this a reality.”

Despite drawing a lot of criticisms from environmentalists, the EP’s move is welcomed by the International Road Transport Union. The association stated that the ETS was unfit for purpose while the industry had no alternative fuels to turn to, such as the widespread lack of charging points for electric trucks.

Concerning the EU ETS and aviation, the legislation passed proposals that the ETS apply to all aircraft departing from an airport in the European Economic Area (EEA). It further said that free allocations to the aviation industry would be phased down by 2025.

The legislation also proposes that 75% of ETS profits "produced by the auctioning of aircraft allowances" be used to "promote innovation and new technologies."

Meanwhile, legislation was approved to prohibit the use of gasoline and diesel engines in all cars and light commercial vans beginning in 2035.

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