Sumario: 11 December 2008, Brussels - Information provided by the European Parliament on the European Union's state of play in the climate negotions.
Negotiations on the climate change package have been under way for almost a year. The package aims to ensure that the EU will achieve its climate targets: a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 20% improvement in energy efficiency, and a 20% share for renewables in the EU energy mix. This background note gives an overview on the state of play of the negotiations ahead of the European Council on 11/12 December and Parliament's plenary on 15-18 December.
In order to conclude the legislative work on the package by the end of 2008, an agreement between Parliament and Council needs to be reached at the first reading. All six proposals fall under the co-decision procedure, placing the European Parliament and Council on an equal footing as co-legislators.
Following the votes in Parliament's Environment and Industry committees in September and October, Parliament delegations began informal negotiations with the French Presidency of the Council in November, with the aim of reaching an informal agreement before Parliament's plenary vote at its session from 15 to 18 December.
In the course of these negotiations, informal agreements were reached on three of the six proposals:
- CO2 emissions from cars - EP rapporteur Guido Sacconi (PES, IT),
- renewable energies - EP rapporteur Claude Turmes (Greens/EFA, LU), and
- the fuel quality directive - EP rapporteur Dorette Corbey (PES, NL)
On the other three proposals, Parliament and Council negotiators have agreed on some points but several issues remain open, inter alia because the Council decided to leave some of most controversial points to be dealt with by the European Council on 11 and 12 December.
The proposals that have still to be agreed are:
- EU Emission Trading Scheme - EP Rapporteur Avril Doyle (EPP-ED, IE),
- effort-sharing decision - EP rapporteur Satu Hassi (Greens/EFA, FI), and
- carbon capture and storage (CSS) - EP rapporteur Chris Davies (Alde, UK).
If the Council reaches conclusions, another round of informal negotiations between Parliament representatives and the French Presidency will take place after the European Council meeting in order to find an agreement on the outstanding points.
All compromises need to be approved in a first-reading vote by the European Parliament, which is scheduled for the Parliament's December plenary session in Strasbourg (debate Tuesday 16.12.08, vote Wednesday 17.12.08). Thereafter, an agreement would have to be formally adopted by Council.