News 17 May 2022

CER welcomes adoption of ENVI position on Emissions Trading Scheme

On 17 May, the Members of the European Parliament of the Environment Committee adopted their position on the new Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) considers the compromise found by rapporteur MEP Peter Liese a firm step in the right direction on targeted carbon pricing in transport and a solid basis for the interinstitutional negotiations that will follow.

CER welcomes the gradual extension of the scope, which will help level the playing field amongst all modes of transport and strongly supports the points referring to the railway sector, which is funding the ETS as a major electricity consumer. ETS should in future cover emissions from road, without separating private and commercial users and equally apply to maritime and aviation with full auctioning as the norm in order to comply with the polluter pays principle. Accelerating the shift to greener modes of transport such as rail is essential, as is the necessary investment. Requesting Member States to use at least 10% of the revenues generated from the auctioning of allowances for the development of public transport such as rail, will help improve the infrastructure and therefore benefit citizens. The inclusion of rail as a formal recipient of ETS allowances will in turn help achieve the EU Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy goals.

Investment in rail is required to digitalise and maintain the existing infrastructure and build new infrastructures. CER calls for the connection of all European capitals and major cities through high-speed rail, and for the deployment of the European Rail Traffic Management System and other digital innovations on the entire network, to connect rail and major urban nodes and freight terminals.  

CER Executive Director Alberto Mazzola said: “Today’s vote was an important step in the negotiation process, and we look forward to further support from Member States and the European Commission with regards to investing more in greener modes of transport such as rail. The Environment Council of 28 June will show to which extent Member States are ready to meet the expectations of European citizens, and to deliver this much needed modal shift and create a more sustainable society.”