February 28, 2017 / 5:36 PM / 7 months ago

Nineteen EU nations back common position on carbon market reform

BRUSSELS, Feb 28 (Reuters) - A majority of EU environment ministers on Tuesday reached a compromise on reforms to the carbon market post 2020, moving closer to adopting the bloc’s first major law to curb greenhouse gases since the Paris accord to fight global warming.

Nineteen member states, representing 71.44 percent of the EU population, backed a compromise text in the tough talks to bridge divisions over how to balance climate ambitions with protection for energy-intensive industry in reforms of the Emission Trading System (ETS).

The cap-and-trade permit system is the EU’s flagship policy to meet its goal of a 43-percent cut in greenhouse gases from 11,000 industries and power plants compared with 2005. But it has suffered from excess supply since the financial crisis, which depressed prices.

A minimum of 16 member states is required to back the compromise deal, representing at least 65 percent of the total EU population. Nine member states voted against the deal on Tuesday. (Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel)

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