MEPs on Tuesday called on EU member states to stem the collapse of the bloc’s Emissions Trading System.
The European Parliament’s environment committee voted by 38-25 in favour of an amendment to the ETS to freeze the auction of some pollution allowances.
A top German lawmaker said reducing supply in the CO2 trading market would boost prices and that this was a better option than fresh taxes.
“There is no alternative to the Emissions Trading System. Everyone that asks for carbon tax (should know) that is not really a good idea, because than we would have 27 different taxations systems,” said Matthias Groote, the chairman of the EP’s environment committee.
The so-called ETS was set up in 2005 as a flagship EU policy to fight climate change. The goal is to slash CO2 emissions by 20 percent from their 1990 levels.
But environmental campaigners want tougher targets.
Julia Michalak of Climate Action Network Europe said EU decison makers should “increase this climate target to at least domestic emission reduction by 2020.”
“The first step can be cancellation of the backloaded allowances, followed by other measures,” she said.
Carbon prices have sunk to four to five euros per tonne in Europe after the market was flooded with too many allowances.
All MEPs will vote on the planned changes in April’s plenary session.