print this article    email this article  
       Energy and Environment 11/12/2008
Vote on Climate Change Package at EP Plenary on 17.12.2008

Negotiations on the climate change package have been under way for almost a year. The package aims to ensure that the EU will achieve its climate targets: a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 20% improvement in energy efficiency and a 20% share for renewables in the EU energy mix. This background note gives an overview on the state of play of the negotiations ahead of the European Council on 11/12 December and Parliament's plenary on 15-18 December.


In order to conclude the legislative work on the package by the end of 2008, an agreement between Parliament and Council needs to be reached at the first reading. All six proposals fall under the co-decision procedure, placing the European Parliament and Council on an equal footing as co-legislators.


Following the votes in Parliament's Environment and Industry committees in September and October, Parliament delegations began informal negotiations with the French Presidency of the Council in November, with the aim of reaching an informal agreement before Parliament's plenary vote at its session from 15 to 18 December.


In the course of these negotiations, informal agreements were reached on three of the six proposals:


·          CO2 emissions from cars - EP rapporteur Guido Sacconi (PES, IT),


·          renewable energies - EP rapporteur Claude Turmes (Greens/EFA, LU), and


·          the fuel  quality  directive - EP rapporteur Dorette Corbey (PES, NL)


On the other three proposals, Parliament and Council negotiators have agreed on some points but several issues remain open, inter alia because  the Council decided to leave some of most controversial points to be dealt with by the European Council on 11 and 12 December.


 The proposals that have still to be agreed are:


·          EU Emission Trading Scheme - EP Rapporteur Avril Doyle (EPP-ED, IE),


·          effort-sharing decision - EP rapporteur Satu Hassi (Greens/EFA, FI), and


·          carbon capture and storage (CSS)  - EP rapporteur Chris Davies (ALDE, UK).


If the Council reaches conclusions, another round of informal negotiations between Parliament representatives and the French Presidency will take place after the European Council meeting in order to find an agreement on the outstanding points.


All compromises need to be approved in a first-reading vote by the European Parliament, which is scheduled for the Parliament's December plenary session in Strasbourg (debate Tuesday 16.12.08, vote Wednesday 17.12.08). Thereafter, an agreement would have to be formally adopted by Council.




European Parliament rapporteurs and Environment Committee

chair on the climate change package


Avril DOYLE (EPP-ED, Ireland),

EP rapporteur on the revision of the

EU's Emission Trading System

Tel. : +32 (0)2 28 45784

"The science is a given. We know what we have to do: it is a year

since the Commission adopted the Climate and Energy Package, and

much work has been done. The Presidents of all the major

EU institutions have made it a priority, and together we have been

working hard to deliver a good deal by the end of the year; what was

a possibility is now becoming a probability.

But be warned: we will not just ‘sign off’ on any deal. I have made

this very clear to the French Presidency, and there is a clear

understanding that the European Parliament will not be presented

with a fait accompli. Parliament will not leave it up to the Heads of

State and Government to ‘sign off’. Make no mistake about that."


Satu HASSI (Greens/EFA, Finland),

EP rapporteur on the effort sharing


Tel. : +32 (0)2 28 45437

"The proposal put on the table by the French presidency would mean

more than 70% of the EU's emissions reduction commitments under

the effort sharing legislation would be outsourced through external

offsetting. It is not only scientifically unsound, it is ethically

questionable and sends a very negative signal to the international

climate negotiations.

It means the EU could cherry pick the cheapest climate mitigation

potential in developing countries in order to prolong our own

unsustainable model. Parliament endorses internal flexibility

between EU Member States but has repeatedly stated that more than

half of the emission reductions must be done domestically inside the



Chris DAVIES (ALDE, United

Kingdom), EP rapporteur on the

directive on geological storage of CO2

Tel. : +32 (0)2 28 45353

" There is little point in racing ahead with legislation to provide for

the safe underground storage of CO2 if no power plants are to be

built where the CO2 will be captured. Prime Ministers made a

commitment nearly two years ago to support the building of up to 12

commercial demonstration projects by 2015, but have yet to identify

a source of funding. Today it is time that they turned their fine words

into good deeds."

The European Parliament has proposed that 350 million carbon

allowances from the emissions trading scheme should be set aside to

provide support funding of €7-9 billion. The Council has currently

offered only 150 million allowances, which MEPs claim is

insufficient to test the full range of CCS technologies.

Chris Davies said that the figure of 350 million was not negotiable.

"The European Parliament has surrendered a lot in order to facilitate

agreement, but for me this is the bottom line. I will halt the

legislation if the Parliament’s demand is not met."


Claude TURMES (Greens/EFA,

Luxembourg), EP rapporteur on the

renewables directive

Tel. : +32 (0)2 28 45246

(Claude Turmes will be present at the press facilities of the European

Council today, 11 December, as from18.30 and will be available for

comments and interviews. For appointments please call Helmut

Weixler at +32-475-671340.)


Miroslav OUZKY (EPP-ED, CZ),

Chairman of the Environment


Tel. : +32 (0)2 28 45810

"The positives that I see lie mainly in the fact that during the

legislative process we managed to find an acceptable compromise

and the European representation is equipped for the COP14 (UN

Climate Change Conference) negotiations in Poznan. The negatives

are that this legislation is developing under a huge political and time

pressure, which can have a negative impact on the quality of

the rules. And furthermore, due to efforts to accept the legislation at

first reading, most of my colleagues in the European Parliament

have been deprived of the possibility to express themselves on this

important matter. "



EP Press Service contacts:

Constanze Beckerhoff Juliane Kammer

European Parliament Press Service European Parliament Press Service

Tel: +32-2-28 44302 Tel: +32-2-28 32602

Mobile: +32 498 983 250 Mobile: +32 498 983 257

envi-press envi-press


Copyright CEOC International 2016