MEPs discussed the future of the EU emissions trading with Climate Action Commissioner

A special meeting held by the Environment Committee with the Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard in the European Parliament was focused in the progress towards a global deal to curb aviation emissions and proposals to delay the release of greenhouse gas allowances in the Emissions Trading System (ETS).

The new European Commission proposal to "stop the clock" on enforcing international aspects of aviation in EU emissions trading was presented by the Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard to the Environment Committee. The proposed suspension of obligations was to recognise recent progress at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and look towards a global deal to be reached by autumn 2013. Some MEPs questioned whether the level of progress in ICAO merited a suspension of the rules. In July 2012, the Commission proposed to clarify the timing of auctions of emission allowances.

Ms Hedegaard also said that the Commission was proposing to delay the availability of allowances (known as "backloading") in response to Parliament's call to tackle surplus credits. MEPs gave a mixed response on backloading, with some concerned about market intervention and others fearing that the proposals would not go far enough to boost the weak carbon price.

On 14 November, the Commission will publish a report on the carbon market and a proposal following one of three possible action 'scenarios' they had previously mooted.