Fight for more climate protection: EU Parliament wants to reform emissions trading

Status: 06/22/2022 5:00 p.m

In less than 30 years, the EU wants to be completely climate-neutral. To this end, the EU Parliament also wants to tighten up CO2 emissions trading: free credits for the climate-damaging gas will no longer exist in the future.

In the second attempt, the EU Parliament has now agreed on a reform of emissions trading – a central point of the “Fit for 55” climate package, with which the EU wants to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

The main point of the compromise is that the current allocation of free certificates by the EU member states to companies is to be phased out gradually from 2027 and completely eliminated from 2032. In addition, emissions trading is to be extended to buildings and transport.

More incentives for more climate-friendly ways to work

With the help of trading in the so-called CO2 credits, the EU states ask companies that emit the climate-damaging greenhouse gas to pay. Some of the companies receive the certificates – so far – free of charge, some they have to buy some in order to financially compensate for their own excessive CO2 emissions. More than 11,000 companies within the EU have to produce a certificate for every tonne of carbon dioxide they emit. In Germany, more than 1,800 plants are affected.

If the previously free portion of the certificates issued is no longer applicable, companies affected by excessive CO2 emissions will be even more expensive. The EU wants to create more incentives to rely on climate-friendly technology and production methods.

CO2 tariff planned at EU borders

In addition to the reform for emissions trading, the compromise of the EU Parliament includes a climate social fund. The money from the fund is intended to relieve EU citizens of the higher costs to be expected from increased climate protection measures.

Another point is a kind of CO2 tariff at the EU’s external borders. The aim here is to prevent goods produced abroad that are cheaper but also more harmful to the climate from becoming too much competition for products manufactured in the EU for which the companies have complied with climate requirements.

EU countries must also agree

Just two weeks ago, the vote on this part of the “Fit for 55” package failed. Too many MPs criticized the version at the time because the planned measures did not do enough for climate protection and called for changes.

But even with the approval of the EU Parliament, the planned regulations have to clear another hurdle: Now the individual EU member states must also agree. Consultations and negotiations are planned for the coming week.

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