News 19 Apr 2023

Rail sector welcomes Parliament Plenary vote on reform of Emissions Trading Scheme

On 18 April, members of the European Parliament approved the agreement on the reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), taking a significant step closer to delivering the goals of the Fit for 55 legislative package. The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) welcomes the adoption of this important legislation and thanks rapporteur Peter Liese (EPP, DE) for his collaborative and productive efforts on this dossier that introduces the gradual extension of the ETS to emissions from all transport modes, with a progressive shift to 100% allowance auctioning across all sectors.

This will not only help to level the playing field across all modes of transport but offers a unique opportunity to reduce the European Union’s reliance on imported fossil fuels thanks to a wider uptake of energy-efficient mobility options and a quicker deployment of renewables in transport.

CER welcomes the inclusion of a carbon price in road and maritime transport and the phasing out of free allowances to aviation by 2027 but underlines that the ETS revenues must be invested in climate-friendly activities. Low-carbon technologies and energy efficiency improvements in transport, including railways, will also benefit greatly from the Innovation and Modernisation Funds.

The social impact of carbon pricing is also correctly addressed with the establishment of a Social Climate Fund to support vulnerable households, micro-enterprises and transport users. Measures to encourage a shift to public forms of transport and improve multimodality will help build an energy-efficient, zero-emission mobility that is affordable.

A further step towards sustainability would be the extension of the EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Finance Initiative to all modes of transport.

CER Executive Director Alberto Mazzola said ”The new Emissions Trading Scheme will also apply to road and maritime and extend the coverage to aviation. It is a positive step towards achieving a level playing field between transport modes, since electric railways have been subject to ETS from the start. The obligation to invest ETS revenues in climate-friendly activities constitutes another major result. The next step should be crediting railway for the CO2 they save.”