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
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
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
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