The European Parliament could not agree on a proposed reform of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). A majority of MPs rejected plans to extend the system to buildings and transport on Wednesday. The bill has been referred back to the Environment Committee to find a new compromise acceptable to a majority.

“I think that’s a shame,” said MP Peter Liese (CDU), who is responsible for negotiating the dossier in the EU Parliament. “As on many other occasions in this report, the extreme right, the Social Democrats and the Greens voted together.” For the Greens and Social Democrats, the proposal was partly not ambitious enough.

In emissions trading, for example, parts of industry or electricity producers have to pay for the emission of climate-damaging gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2). Among other things, the plan was to expand the system to other sectors – with exceptions for private households – and to reduce the emissions covered by the ETS more quickly.

The vote is one of several in Strasbourg on important parts of the EU Commission’s “Fit for 55” climate package. It aims to reduce climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 and to become carbon neutral by 2050. For the laws in the package to come into force, both Parliament and EU countries must agree.

More to come