EU Parliament’s dramatic reset on climate laws must shake the EU to increase climate ambition


  • Emissions Trading System rejection is a dangerous delay and leaves climate ambition hanging in the balance
  • The Environment Committee must double down efforts for a stronger more ambitious Fit for 55 without siding with industry lobbyists
  • Other climate files pass, but with major flaws at the expense of climate ambition

Strasbourg, 8 June 2022, Today, in a shock move, the European Parliament fell into chaos after rejecting its report on the revision of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). 

Although the worst case scenario was averted it still leaves a question mark over the EU’s commitment to climate ambition. The European Parliament missed a chance to be a clear champion to protect people and the planet and defend the 1.5 Paris Agreement goal. Now the Environment Committee needs to take the reins and deliver a Fit for 55 package that is fit for purpose in fighting the climate crisis, without surrendering to industry lobby pressure.

Today the European Parliament almost sold out climate protection for the demands of big polluters. This is a wake up call, MEPs need to re-examine their loyalty to the Paris Agreement and decide whether to listen to industry lobbyists or act on the climate emergency. Time is running out.”  

Klaus Röhrig, EU Climate and Energy Policy Coordinator, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe

Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR)

“There were no big surprises but plenty of disappointment as the regulation is still far below the level of ambition needed to reach the 1.5 goal. Now it’s up to individual countries to raise the bar and prove that they are ready to improve national climate commitments and deliver, which will benefit the whole of society.

Brigitta Bozsó, Climate Policy Expert, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe 

Context: Today the European Parliament gave the green light to the Effort Sharing Regulation report with no deviations from the Environment Committee’s suggestions. In an attempt to reach a compromise many of the ambitious amendments had been dropped during the committee negotiations, so there were no shocks in the Plenary. The report contains some good elements, but all-in-all, the European Parliament missed an important opportunity to significantly improve the Commission’s climate proposal.  Without higher targets, strong compliance measures and getting rid of all remaining loopholes in the ESR we risk missing the EU 2030 climate target.

Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF)

“Parliament adopted many small improvements, but again was not bold enough to take the real big steps that the current ecological emergency requires. Nature can help us with both the climate and biodiversity crisis but this requires urgent and drastic changes to the way we treat our forests and land.”

Ulriikka Aarnio, Climate and Land Use Policy expert, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe

Context: Today MEPs improved the Commission proposal in several ways. Biodiversity has been taken into account more seriously, many of the loopholes have been patched and rules strengthened. Unfortunately plenary failed to support the Environment Committee on increasing the 2030 headline target and setting specific targets for problematic land sectors. 

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Notes to editors

Context: The key laws of the ‘Fit For 55’ package (which was launched by the European Commission in July 2021 and is supposed to deliver the EU’s 2030 climate target) has reached a critical milestone today. The European Parliament plenary voted on the reports for the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), including the proposal for a new Emissions Trading System for road transport and buildings (ETS2), the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR – which determines national climate targets) and the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Regulation.

In a turbulent vote on the ETS revision, important elements strengthening the ambition of the EU carbon market beyond the Commission proposal fell, alongside attempts to phase out the handout of free pollution permits to industry quicker than the Commission had proposed. In a dramatic turn of events, the severely watered down report was finally rejected by a majority of MEPs, sending it back for re-negotiation to the Environment committee.

What’s next? After the ETS report was rejected by plenary, it now goes back to the Environment committee to redraw viable compromises on key issues; exact timeline tbc. The plenary today agreed to move to trilogues with ESR and LULUCF. In parallel, negotiations on these laws continue in the EU Council with a meeting of Environment ministers scheduled for 28 June to clinch a general agreement.

CAN Europe positions on the ETS, ESR and LULUCF.

Contact: Rachel Brabbins, Communications Coordinator: +447498 977 935