The European Parliament agreed on a reform of the Emissions Trading System (ETS) on 17 December 2022 after considering the European Commission’s proposals. The key changes were the increase of ambitions and the establishment of an “ETS II” with specific focus on the sectors of transport and buildings.
With regards to increased ambitions by 2030, emissions are to be cut by 62% compared to 2005. This is to be achieved by one-off reductions to EU-wide quantity of industry allowances as well annual allowance reductions. This is expected to lead the complete elimination of such allowances by 2034. A separate system, “ETS II”, will be established to cover emissions related to the transport and building sectors, as well as certain other related ones. In addition, decisions were made to increase funds for innovation and modernisation, as well as to establish a dedicated social climate fund.
The European Union’s emissions Trading System is a fundamental part of the European Climate Policy. By limiting greenhouse emissions (GHG), and assigning a price to them, it intends to reduce the overall emissions within the EU.
Alongside confirming ETS reforms, the European Union also joined the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework on 19 December, alongside 195 countries at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference COP15.
The framework, hailed as historic, outlines global targets for the preservation and restoration of biological diversity. It aims to accelerate policy, and mobilise funding for biodiversity protection, and alongside with the Paris agreement, focuses on achieving a resilience and climate neutrality by 2050. Amongst the ambitious goals, the restoration and conservation of 30% of degraded areas and ecosystems can be found as well as the reduction of pollution and the negation of its negative effects by 2030.
COP15, of which this framework is a result of, was held in Montreal last December. A nine-person delegation from the European Commission’s ENVI committee, led by MEP Cesar Luena participated in the conference. With the beginning of 2023, ENVI began its meetings 12 January. On its 16 January meeting, the committee held an exchange of views with Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius on COP-15 outcomes.