European Union member states today agreed on a negotiating position for a review of the EU's emission trading system. 

The agreement, brokered by Malta as Council president, means negotiations with the European Parliament can now begin with the aim of reaching an agreement on a final text. 

MEPs voted on amendments to the European Parliament approach earlier this month. With both sides having now established their respective positions, negotiations can begin in earnest. 

The EU's emissions trading system places a limit on the total emissions of high-emitting industries and power stations. Companies can buy and sell their allowance within the limit, which is reduced year-on-year. 

The system is intended to steer industry towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and therefore climate change. 

Last year, the EU pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030. 

"This is important for us, for our planet and for future generations. The Paris Agreement was a landmark achievement, but we need to put words into action," said Environment Minister and current EU Environment Council president Jose Herrera. 

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