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European Parliament sees reason Emissions Trading System back to square one
Europe | Brussels

European Parliament sees reason: Emissions Trading System back to square one

8 Jun 2022 · Environment

IRU has welcomed today’s European Parliament vote to reject extending the Emission Trading System (ETS II) to road transport. 

The European Parliament, voting in plenary today, has rejected extending the EU’s Emissions Trading System to road transport and buildings. As IRU had pointed out, the Parliament’s environmental committee (ENVI) had submitted an impractical ETS II, which was not fit for purpose. The full Parliament has agreed and embraced reason. The European Commission’s original proposal now goes back to committee. 

Whilst IRU considers that a well-structured ETS for road could support decarbonisation, the European Commission’s proposal requires crucial changes for the plan 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 road back into the road transport sector.  

Despite the industry’s constructive approach, discussions in ENVI took a hostile direction against the commercial road transport sector. The road transport sector is concerned about the real risk of an increased cost base without any return and without any realistic chance to shift to zero-emission vehicles any time soon. 

IRU’s EU Advocacy Director Raluca Marian said, “We are delighted that the full Parliament was ultimately persuaded by reason and the ultimate goal of real decarbonisation. It rejected a proposal that was not fit-for-purpose. 

“We are grateful to some members of the Parliament’s transport committee for their relentless fight to convince their colleagues that ENVI’s approach is fundamentally flawed and that the file must be re-assessed from scratch. 

“Last week the Council significantly watered down EU ambitions on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure for zero-emission vehicles. This was a clear signal that the shift to zero-emission vehicles is not a priority for commercial road transport. 

“If the basic condition for the shift to such vehicles – the availability of charging/refuelling infrastructure – is not in place, how can the EU justify an immediate increase in taxation and charges for the CO2 emissions of our sector? We need smart taxation that incentivises road transport operators to decarbonise, not a system that penalises them.”