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Emissions Trading Scheme: call to postpone 'back-loading' proposal. Corien Wortmann-Kool MEP, Richard Seeber MEP and Pilar del Castillo MEP.

The EPP Group is calling on the European Commission to postpone its proposal to withhold some of the carbon allowances due to be auctioned in the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS), the so-called back-loading initiative, until the Commission obtains the necessary democratic mandate from the European Parliament (EP) and the Council.

"We call on the Commission to reschedule the publication of the back-loading proposal, due to be put forward next week on 14 November, until it has a clear mandate from the EP and the Council to do so. First, the co-decision procedure on amending the ETS Directive must come to an end, possibly in Spring 2013, and only then should the Commission attempt to take further steps towards proposing a Regulation on back-loading", said the EPP Group Vice-Chairwoman responsible for Economy and Environment Corien Wortmann-Kool MEP, the EPP Group Co-Coordinator in the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee of the EP, Richard Seeber MEP, and the Group's Coordinator in the Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the EP, Pilar del Castillo MEP.

The EPP Group sent a letter to the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the Commissioner responsible for Climate Change, Connie Hedegaard, calling for the postponement of the back-loading proposal. The letter states:

"A balanced and responsible handling of this file is of the utmost importance. In economically difficult times in which Europe's industrial competitiveness is at stake, increasing energy prices do substantially matter not only for industry but in particular for SMEs and private households. For this reason, any legislative steps have to be carefully assessed on its impact on companies and consumers and a maximal democratic legitimacy has to be ensured."

"We urge the European Commission to postpone the submission of the back-loading Regulation to a later stage in order to ensure an unprejudiced co-decision procedure on the Emissions Trading Scheme amendment."

The EP is currently working on the co-decision file amending the Directive on the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS Directive 2003/87/EC), where the objective is to clarify the Commission's role regarding the timing of auctions of greenhouse gas emissions. The Parliament is aiming for a first reading agreement by Spring 2013. If the European Commission intends to adopt the Regulation on back-loading before this date it could, according to the EPP Group, prejudice the co-decision procedure and hamper democratic accountability and cause market uncertainty.

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