MP Takes Up Concerns Over EU Emissions Trading System

Speaking in the House of Commons this week, North East Herts MP Oliver Heald has attacked the EU Emissions Trading System for issuing permissions to pollute at a level 6% higher than the current level of pollution and has called on Ministers to take action to ensure that Britain is not the only country in the EU to set tough targets.

The exchange between Oliver Heald MP and Jim Murphy MP Minister for Europe follows:-

Mr. Oliver Heald (North-East Hertfordshire) (Con): How was it that the EU emissions trading system ended up issuing permissions to pollute at 6 per cent. higher than the current level of pollution? What is going to be done about a situation in which Britain set tough targets and ended up having to buy 22 million tonnes of carbon and other similar countries such as Germany and France issued so many permits that they were selling them? What will Lisbon do about that?

Mr. Murphy: I hope that the hon. Gentleman does not mind my saying so, but the basic premise of his assertion is absolutely correct. The problem in the past was that there was not enough international co-operation and countries set their own targets in a way that did not fit international priorities or the scale of the problem. Over the next 30 years, if we continue at the current pace, international and world energy demand will increase by a remarkable 50 per cent. That is clearly unsustainable, which is why there is a real need for internationally agreed binding targets of the type that the United Kingdom was first in the world to agree to.”