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MEPs Vote To Reform The EU's Emissions Trading System And Impose A Carbon Tax

MEPs Vote To Reform The EU's Emissions Trading System And Impose A Carbon Tax

The European Parliament has voted in favour of three key climate laws, barely two weeks after the same legislative files caused scenes of chaos in the hemicycle. That incident, in which MEPs booed and jeered at each other, prompted a flurry of behind-the-scenes negotiations to achieve a new compromise between the main political groups.

The concentrated push paid off on Wednesday, when a majority of lawmakers approved the three draft laws with a comfortable majority: a revision of the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS), a novel carbon border tax and a Social Climate Fund. The three pieces of legislation were unveiled by the European Commission last July as a part of a broader package to slash the bloc's greenhouse gas emissions by 55% before the end of the decade.

In a plenary session on Wednesday, a comfortable majority voted in favour of the draft laws. The parliament will now defend this position in the upcoming negotiations with member states, which are expected to be intense. The Parliament and Council will have to agree on a final version for the laws enter into force. "Today's plenary decision is good for the climate and good for jobs," said German MEP Peter Liese, the rapporteur on the ETS file. "I am very relieved and glad that a large majority is now living up to its responsibility." Speaking on behalf of the socialist group, Mohammed Chahim welcomed the deal "after the troublesome vote in the previous plenary" and said it was based on the principle "the polluter must pay, no matter where they pollute!"

The liberals from Renew Europe called the agreement a "huge step" forward while the Greens said it would enable the 55% carbon reduction but fall short of the Paris Agreement's goal to to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also celebrated the news, saying that "together Europe paves the way for a climate neutral future."

Source: Euronews

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