Following yesterday’s vote, the ENVI Committee submitted an impractical, compromised proposal to the European Parliament for the extension of ETS to road transport and buildings (ETS II) which only covers commercial transport.
In practice, the distinction at the pump between private and commercial transport will be quasi-impossible especially for light vehicles. Beyond impracticability and assuming ETS II had the potential to foster decarbonisation, including 35 million commercial vehicles in the scope of ETS II, and excluding 300 million private vehicles will deprive it of any real impact.
Without the majority of road users included, from a financial perspective, the setting-up and administration of the ETS II will be an inefficient and costly exercise for the EU, which will result in limited proceeds collected for the funding of the EU climate goals.
Even an all-inclusive ETS II will still fail to deliver its goals in the version proposed by the European Commission or amended by ENVI.
IRU has suggested crucial changes to EU legislators in order to enable the proposal to achieve its goals. Most notably these include the need for a gradual introduction of the ETS, aligned with technology and charging infrastructure developments; the avoidance of multiple taxation/charging for CO2 emissions; and the reinvestment of revenues earned from ETS for a road back into the road transport sector.
Instead of setting an incentive to decarbonise the road transport sector, ETS II would penalise the transport operators if the basic conditions needed to shift to alternative-fuelled vehicles are not in place: zero-emission vehicles are available and affordable in sufficient numbers, and a dense EU network of alternative fuels infrastructure is in place.