The news helped carbon prices, with the benchmark contract price rising nearly 4% to €8.68 per tonne within hours.
The compromise wording, as expected, does not specify how many carbon allowances might be withheld to tackle a huge surplus in the market.
Instead, it calls on the Commission to amend the regulation on auctioning carbon permits and to implement measures, which may include "withholding the necessary amount of allowances," a parliamentary source said.
"The good thing is it is giving the Commission a mandate to act before the third phase [of the carbon market, from 2013]. However, we lost the numbers. It was just not possible to get broad support," Dutch Green MEP Bas Eickhout said.
Negotiators from all parties supported the compromise agreed late on Wednesday (16 Feburary) and there was "a good chance" it would get voted through on 28 February, Eickhout said.
That would not guarantee action by the Commission, but it would add to pressure for reform that has come from industry and business, as well as politicians and conservationists.
In December, a vote for action by the European Parliament's environment committee garnered cross-party support, and briefly triggered a near 30% surge in the price of EU allowances.
That vote called for the withdrawal of 1.4 billion permits, but was only approved by one vote. Politicians predicted that it would be hard to retain such a specific proposal.