There is a new weapon in the fight against climate chaos after the EU agreed in the European Parliament to new restrictions on trading greenhouse gases. This represents a new opportunity for the Scottish renewables industry according to SNP MEP Alyn Smith.
Speaking from Strasbourg, Alyn said:
"The reinforced Emissions Trading System (ETS) is an opportunity for the renewables industry because the cost of pumping pollutants into the air will go up and clean energy technology will become much more attractive as a result.
"There's lots of jargon around this like 'an effective carbon market with a trading price high enough to encourage investment in renewable energy is essential to drive us towards our climate change targets' but what it means in practice is that it will be more cost effective for industry to change to clean energy. There are big opportunities for Scottish benefits in terms of jobs and environmental protection.
"Part of the deal means that EU allowances for trading CO2 won't be increased in the next few years as had been planned and those increases will at least be deferred. This is what the EU Commission is calling 'back-loading' and we'll come back to debating those allowances in years to come.
"This is just a short-term fix though and we really need to change the ETS to make it stronger, more efficient and fit for purpose.
"The proposal has the support of environmental NGOs, energy companies and the trade body for the industry. Energy companies want to invest in renewables and an efficient carbon market will help them do that.
"Through hard work Scotland has become a world-leader in renewables and if we don't fix the system for emissions trading now then we are putting this work at risk. Back-loading is a sensible short-term solution and I'm pleased with our work in the European Parliament today."