The European Parliament on Wednesday voted to reject a reform of the EU carbon trading system, in a surprise setback to Brussels’ plan to tackle the climate crisis. The EU has vowed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030, but Green and socialist MEPs judged the plan to expand carbon trading insufficiently ambitious. The legislation to expand the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) to include carbon from transport and construction is a keystone of Brussels’ entire climate package. It also foresees the abolition of exceptions to the carbon trading scheme for European industry in exchange for a carbon tax on imports at the EU’s borders. The text will now go back to the parliament’s environmental committee to be re-negotiated, in a severe blow to the European Commission’s key legislative project. There were fierce recriminations following the vote, with conservative and liberal members accusing the socialists of allying with extremists to defeat the measure by 340 votes to 265. The left in turn accused the right of watering down the plan in committee, forcing those seeking a more ambitious goal to make a stand by rejecting its quick passage. “You can’t seek support from the far-right to lower the level of ambition and then complain that we voted with them. You need to be coherent,” declared socialist group leader Iratxe Garcia. But Peter Liese, the centre-right MEP charged with steering the ETS reform, warned that MEPs had ceded the legislative initiative to EU member state capitals. “It is a bad day for the European Parliament,” he said. The chairman of the parliament’s environment committee, centrist MEP Pascal Canfin, said two more votes on parts of the package would be put on hold until carbon trading is settled.