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  • Transport MEPs vote to strengthen draft climate law

    The European Parliament’s transport committee today voted to increase the ambition of the EU’s largest proposed climate law, the Effort Sharing Regulation. The opinion report led by Merja Kyllonen MEP, which was was adopted by 32 votes in favor and 8 against, will feed into the discussion in the main committee, ENVI. The committee’s ambition on issues like the starting point, a longer term emission reduction trajectory and the bi-annual compliance checks was welcomed by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment. 

    T&E particularly welcomed the limitation on the ‘banking’ flexibility: based on the proposal, member states can save and carry over their unused emission allocations over the commitment period, and use these credits at the end of the period when targets are stricter. The transport committee called for this flexibility to be limited, so that member states will really have to meet their annual greenhouse gas reduction targets using emission reduction measures rather than “free” credits.

    Cristina Mestre, climate officer at T&E, said: “The banking limitation sets an extra safeguard that brings us closer to the 30% greenhouse gas reduction target in 2030. The reality is that member states will have an inflated carbon budget due to the flexibilities and the starting point, but by limiting banking we make sure that the targets are met on paper and in practice.”

    Covering 60% of the Europe’s total greenhouse gas emissions, the proposed Effort Sharing Regulation sets binding national emission reduction targets for the 2021-2030 period for sectors not covered in the emissions trading system, namely: transport, buildings, agriculture and waste.

    As the European Commission’s proposal stands, and with member states making full use of all the flexibilities, the emission savings by 2030 would be of 77 million tonnes CO2e (Mt)t. By limiting banking in the way the transport committee is calling for, the emission savings would be more than 450Mt.