Council agrees on emissions trading:
Europe is finally taking Kyoto seriously
The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament today welcomed the Council's agreement on the proposed emissions trading directive. The agreement clears the way for a vote during the Strasbourg plenary session of the Parliament next week.
After ten years of fruitless discussions aimed at introducing a 'carbon tax' scheme, the European Parliament will have the opportunity on 2 July to vote on a directive that would introduce an efficient and effective emission trading scheme, fulfilling many of the important functions of the carbon tax scheme. Under the proposal, Member States like Germany will not be able to exclude whole sectors from this scheme.
Alexander De Roo MEP (Greens, NL) shadow rapporteur on the directive, said:
"After such a long process, I welcome the fact that Europe is finally taking its Kyoto commitments seriously. This is an important piece of legislation and an important part of the EU's strategy on climate change. The proposal will be approved by the vast majority of MEPs next week, and will cover 10,000 European businesses from 2005 and meet 46 per cent of the EU's Kyoto targets."
"I also welcome the fact that we have managed to put a number of issues on the political agenda for 2004. For instance, we will discuss the extension of this scheme to include the road and air transport sectors, or as an alternative to this, command and control measures to curb carbon dioxide emissions in the transport sectors."
"This is the right vote at the right time for Europe, and it will also put pressure on the Russian Duma to finally ratify the Kyoto Protocol."