On 16 April, the European Parliament voted against a proposal which would have enabled the Commission to postpone the auctioning of 900 million EU emissions trading scheme allowances (“ETS”) from the years 2013-2015 to 2019-2020 – a proposal known as “backloading”. The aim was to curb the surplus of emission rights within carbon markets, which is considered to have a negative impact on competitiveness. The proposal was intended as a short-term solution preceding long-term structural measures. It was rejected by a narrow margin of 334 against 315 votes and sent back for further consideration to the European Parliament’s environment committee, which now has two months to find a compromise. The Commission must also decide whether to withdraw the proposal, but has been urged by the Irish Presidency of the EU to refrain from doing so.

The Commission’s press release is available via the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/clima/news/articles/news_2013041602_en.htm