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July date for second European parliament carbon back-loading vote

07 May 2013 16:27:02 | edcm

The European parliament is to hold a second vote on the European Commission's carbon emissions allowance back-loading proposal in early July.

The decision to seek another vote on the proposal by the members of parliament (MEPs) before their summer break was taken by the coordinators of parliament's environment committee, who met on Tuesday for the second time since the measure was rejected in parliament (see EDCM 16 April 2013).

"Coordinators decided to vote on back-loading in the environment committee on 19 June and on the report during the July plenary [session]," chairman Matthias Groote said on Twitter after the coordinators' meeting, which included one MEP per parliamentary political group.

The plenary will be held from 1-4 July.

There was no agreement on the plenary date in the coordinators' first meeting, as sources said they were weighing pros and cons before deciding whether to push for a plenary vote as soon as possible or give more time to find compromise amendments while also waiting until after the German elections (see EDCM 25 April 2013).

UK MEP Chris Davies, who took part in the meeting, told ICIS the draft report, which has already been voted by the parliament, will be used as a basis to negotiate a potential compromise to be voted on during the plenary according to amendments that can be submitted by 27 May.

Basing the report on an existing draft is likely to have been behind the tight schedule now set, as MEPs can amend the current text instead of waiting for a new one.

Nine EU states urge support

The news came as nine EU states called on the European Council and parliament to take urgent steps to resolve the back-loading delay by July at the latest.

Energy and environment ministers from Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK said: "Although we are clear that market interference should be kept to a minimum, a one-off and targeted intervention now would minimise market uncertainty and distortions, and also promote investment in low-carbon technologies."

For emissions allowance back-loading to be adopted, support is needed by both the council and parliament as the proposal falls under the EU's co-decision rules.

The nine countries also said that, by the end of the year, the European Commission should put proposals for implementing a structural reform of the EU's emissions trading system and for giving investors a clear signal on Europe's low-carbon ambition beyond 2020. Silvia Molteni

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