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Structural reform of the EU ETS came one step closer today with the agreement by EU Member States to enter into informal negotiations with the European Parliament and the European Commission on the back-loading of allowances in the emissions trading scheme. This negotiation is expected to move swiftly after Member States, notably Germany, finally agreed on accepting the Parliament’s amendments to the proposal, which limits the back-load to one intervention and includes a maximum on 900 million allowances.

The back-loading of allowances is part of a two-step process to get the EU ETS back on its feet. This process was recently confirmed by DG Clima Director General, Jos Delbeke, who, in a [recent ETS expert meeting](http://ec.europa.eu/clima/news/articles/news_2013092401_en.htm “”), said that long term structural reform of the ETS could only be completed once the back loading of allowances had been finalised. Today’s decision makes way for those urgent long term reforms to take place, ensuring the ETS remains fit for purpose going forward.

Sandbag’s Rob Elsworth commented:
Back-loading was only every the first step towards more lasting structural reform of the EU ETS. We’re relieved that step one is finally drawing to an end and we can now focus on the more important issue of long term structural reforms.

The [chair of the Lithuanian Council meeting, Arūnas Vinčiūnas](http://www.eu2013.lt/en/news/pressreleases/establishment-of-councils-position-important-step-towards-safeguarding-the-eu-emissions-trading-system- “”) said:
“There is a pressing need to redress the carbon price and reassure markets that the EU is serious about ensuring the proper functioning of its ETS,