€200 bn Polluter Bonuses Unleashed by ETS Reform Proposals

February 15, 2017 — Today’s European Parliament vote on the reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) rubber stamps substantial new handouts to polluting industries and locks in a climate target far short of a fair EU share of cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

The EU Parliament passed measures that represent around €200 billion in free pollution permits and additional funds for polluting industries, although the eventual value could be higher once the rules on continuing subsidies for the cement and other energy intensive sectors have been clarified.

Corporate Europe Observatory’s Oscar Reyes said:

“It looks like the EU Parliament is quite happy to prolong the welfare scheme for big polluters that has already failed to reduce emissions for too long. EU taxpayers will be the ones forced to pick up the bill for the heavy subsidies forked out to polluting industries.”

The vote also confirms a lack of ambition at the heart of the emissions trading scheme, which is the EU’s flagship climate policy tool.

Frida Kieninger of Food & Water Europe added:

“The 2.2 per cent annual reduction target is a shameful capitulation that is still far off the EU’s fair share of necessary climate action set out in the Paris Agreement.

“It is high time that the EU institutions realise that the ETS is not fit for purpose and scrap it in favour of more effective climate regulations.”

Notes to editors:

  • The EU Parliament voted on the ETS reform proposals and amendments listed here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/report-details.html?reference=A8-0003-2017
  • The value of free pollution permits and ETS-linked funds will amount to around €198 billion between 2021 and 2030. This figure assumes an average carbon price of €25, and is broken down as follows: Free industry permits worth €135 billion, Innovation Fund €15 billion, Indirect Cost Fund €11 billion, Modernisation Fund €8 billion, Flexible Share €19 billion, New Entrants’ Reserve €10 billion.
  • This media reaction has also been endorsed by attac France.