In a surprise vote, the majority of members of the European Parliament on Wednesday rejected proposals to extend the European emissions trading system (ETS), introduce a carbon tax and create a social fund for the climate.
MEPs rejected the proposal on the extension and revision of the emissions trading system, drafted by Peter Liese of the European People’s Party, by 365 votes against, 265 for and 34 abstentions.
Lawmakers then agreed to refer the motion, along with related reports on the carbon border tax and social climate fund, to the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee for a closer examination.
The surprise result of the vote aligns with the position of the Hungarian government, which has long strongly opposed the introduction of the tax, arguing that polluting companies, rather than people, should bear the cost of the green transition by currency climate matter.
After the vote, Fidesz MEP Edina Tóth called the rejection of the climate tax a “great victory” for her party.
“The result of the vote clearly shows that the climate package is bleeding from several wounds and has failed to win political and social support,” Tóth said in a statement, adding that he had no political or social support. .
Brussels’ plan would make citizens and families pay for its green policies, she said, calling it “unacceptable”. Major polluters should bear the costs of greening, not ordinary people, the statement added.
The tax would also jeopardize Hungary’s cap on household utility bills and fuel inflation, Tóth said.
We will continue to fight so that this proposal is not adopted. We are committed to the green transition as a common goal, but not at any price. Our position is clear: the cost of the transition should not be borne by Hungarian and European citizens, but by the big polluters. “We will continue on the path we have started and we will prevent the European regulation from imposing a new tax on Hungarian citizens,” added MEP Edina Tóth.
Featured photo illustration via the official European Parliament Twitter page