* EU lawmakers defer vote again
* EU member states to hold further debate on Wednesday
* Carbon market closes nearly 12 percent lower
(Adds official agenda, updates carbon price)
BRUSSELS, Feb 25 European politicians will not
vote on Tuesday, as had been expected, on whether to begin
drafting a law to prop up the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS),
delaying any possible deal on supporting the carbon market, an
official agenda showed.
A European Parliament committee last week voted in favour of
an emergency plan, known as backloading, to save the world's
biggest market for carbon emission permits from collapse.
But politicians put off a decision for a week on drafting
the necessary legislation to institute the hotly contested
"Backloading will not feature in the committee hearing
tomorrow. All other reports are inaccurate," Matthias Groote,
chairman of the environment committee, who is leading the
debate, said on Twitter.
A release of the agenda from the European Parliament later
confirmed that no vote was foreseen "regarding a mandate on
In the absence of a vote on Tuesday, the normal procedure
would be to resume debate at a plenary session of the European
Parliament, either in March or in April, EU sources said.
Without an early agreement on drafting, the risk is that
many more months of EU process will follow.
The carbon market, a pillar of the European Union's climate
policy to cut greenhouse gas emissions, has hit a series of
record low prices because of a huge surplus of allowances,
mostly caused by economic recession in the euro zone.
Following the news that a vote would not he held on Tuesday,
carbon prices fell nearly 12 percent to 4.57 euros per tonne by
close of business.
The Commission's proposed plan entails temporarily removing
some of the surplus, which has pushed prices far below the
levels needed to make low carbon investment profitable and help
curb planet-warming emissions.
It was meant to be a quick fix, which the Commission hoped
could at least be agreed in principle by the end of last year as
a first step towards deeper reforms.
Instead, indecision from EU member state Germany, opposition
from Poland, which relies heavily on coal, and differences of
opinion between business lobbies have mired the process in
Representatives of member states will meet on Wednesday to
discuss their positions, and on Friday the Commission will hold
a first consultation meeting on structural reforms of the ETS.
For a TABLE of positions so far click on:
(Reporting by Barbara Lewis and Claire Davenport in Brussels
and Andrew Allan in London; editing by Jane Baird and Matthew