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EU-ETS: MEP Kelly ensures fair deal for dairy sector

Published: Tue, 06 February 2018

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Amendments made by Seán Kelly MEP (Ireland South) and leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament will ensure the dairy sector gets a fair deal under the EU Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS) with proper assessments, following a vote in the European Parliament today (Tuesday). Mr Kelly welcomed the adoption of the final text on the review of the EU-ETS as a “sensible and ambitious approach to the reduction of industrial emissions”

The EU-ETS, which is the EU’s main policy instruments for the reduction of emissions in large industrial plants and power plants, contains provisions for the protection of trade-intensive and carbon-intensive industries that are prone to relocate to other parts of the world due to the EU’s comparatively more stringent climate legislation – the phenomenon known as ‘Carbon Leakage’. Under the EU-ETS, sectors deemed most vulnerable to carbon leakage are allocated emission allowances for free, as opposed to other sectors that pay a market price for each tonne of carbon emitted. This free allocation is given as a means to preserving the EU’s industrial competitiveness.

In 2016, Mr Kelly identified and highlighted a technical issue whereby the Commission’s proposal for protection against carbon leakage could have left certain sectors unnecessarily exposed. Thankfully, the Ireland South MEP’s amendments have been taken on board and reflected in the final agreement, following negotiations with the Council, ensuring the dairy sector and others are afforded fair assessments.  

“Today’s text strikes the right balance between being ambitious on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our industries in the EU, but also ensuring that EU competitiveness will be maintained. It is hugely important that a sensible solution to carbon leakage protection has now been agreed upon. The Commission’s proposal would have prevented sectors from being given a fair assessment to determine if protection through free allocation of emission allowances was necessary.

“My proposals to prevent such a situation have been included in this text which got the green light today. Therefore, our important sectors will get a proper and detailed assessment and will be allocated free allowances if thresholds outlined are met following the assessment. It would have been ridiculous if sectors were overlooked simply due to administrative issues, and thankfully now sectors are all put on a level playing field, and this won’t be the case,” MEP Kelly said in Strasbourg, in welcoming the outcome.

“Ensuring access to this assessment is particularly important for our dairy industries which provide an important market for our dairy farmers and create a significant number of rural jobs. I want to thank the lead negotiators for addressing my concerns, and for their cooperation over the past two years on this issue,” he concluded.

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