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Why including buildings in the EU ETS is not the right tool to deliver energy-efficient homes
Date: 2019-11-29
The European Commission is assessing whether to extend the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to cover the emissions associated with the heating and cooling of buildings. This paper points out several reasons why this would not be the best approach to deliver a highly energy-efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050.

Buildings are the EU’s biggest CO2 emitter. Our homes, offices and buildings are the EU’s biggest CO2emitters, as well as its single largest energy user. Decreasing and decarbonising the energy consumption to heat, cool and use buildings is crucial for the transition to a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 at the latest. Since most of the buildings that we will occupy in 2050 are already built, the main challenge is to renovate these 210 million existing buildings to make them less energy-hungry. At the current rate of renovation, it would take another century to achieve a decarbonised building stock, instead of the targeted30 years. Further inaction risks the EU missing its climate objectives by up to 400 million tonnes of CO21.Around 50 million people still live in energy poverty. Deep renovation of their homes would lower their energy bills and make their houses more comfortable and healthy. Well-insulated buildings moreover offer the flexibility to receive energy when it is available, thereby allowing the effective integration of renewables in the energy system during the entire year

.Integrating buildings in the EU ETS is complex and time-consuming. Urgent action on buildings is vital to overcome the climate and social crises facing Europe today. Integrating the building sector in the EU ETS is complex and likely to take at least several years. That is time we do not have, and which diverts attention from more effective short-term measures. The EU should instead prioritize a Green Deal for housing to unlock vast investments for building renovations, while creating local jobs and more energy-efficient and affordable housing.

What is the EU ETS? The EUETS sets a cap on the total amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted by installations from the power, industry and aviation sectors. The cap is reduced over time so that emissions go down. Within the cap, companies receive or buy emission allowances which they can trade with each other, thereby creating a carbon price. The building sector is already covered by a cap on how much greenhouse gases can be emitted as part of the Effort Sharing Regulation; the EU’s other climate legislation targeting sectors not included in the EU ETS.

Carbon pricing does not deliver more affordable, energy-efficient homes. According to the International Energy Agency2, most of the energy efficiency potential is available at a negative cost. This means that these efficiency measures already pay for themselves, even in the absence of a carbon price. The reasons why these measures, such as energy renovation, are not taken are usually not economic in nature, but rather the result of market-barriers and -imperfections. In the case of the building sector, these barriers include split incentives between those making investments (i.e. home-owners) and those paying energy bills (i.e. tenants), the inability to come up with high upfront costs and a lack of information on renovation opportunities and financing options. Including the building sector in the EU ETS would do nothing to overcome these barriers to make buildings more energy-efficient. Even worse, the introduction of a carbon price for the heating and cooling of buildings could lead to higher energy bills for tenants or homeowners who are not able to, or cannot afford to, renovate their homes.

Governments should remain responsible for the built environment. Extending the EU ETS to buildings would mean that governments are no longer accountable for introducing measures to decarbonise the building stock under the Effort Sharing legislation. Under the Effort Sharing Regulation, each Member State has annual climate targets that it needs to meet. By integrating buildings in the EU ETS, the sector would be taken out of the Effort Sharing Regulation, putting the responsibility of climate action instead on heating fuel suppliers. The integration of the building sector in the EU ETS could lead to the dismantling or shying away from more effective EU and national energy efficiency legislation, under the pretext that this would undermine the functioning of the carbon market. This would be dangerous as the decarbonisation of the building stock requires dedicated policies beyond a carbon price. It is up to governments to put in place programmes to accelerate renovation, to introduce minimum energy performance standards for buildings and to prioritize measures to alleviate energy poverty. These actions will not happen through the EU ETS, but by policymakers taking ownership of the transition to a climate-neutral built environment.

Green Deal for housing should be a key priority for Europe. Without urgent and accelerated action to renovate up to 97% of the European building stock by 2050, it will be impossible to meet the EU’s climate objectives. Fortunately, buildings’ operational emissions can be cut by 100%, mostly by using already commercially available solutions such as insulation. Including the building sector in the EU ETS distracts from taking effective measures to overcome the main barriers hampering the renovation of the EU building stock and the alleviation of energy poverty. The EU instead needs to put in place an enabling framework to ensure that the worst energy performing buildings are phased out over time, to guarantee quality homes for people and clear a pathway to climate-neutrality. The European Green Deal presents a perfect opportunity to deliver on comfortable, affordable and energy-efficient housing. This Green Deal can help unlock 130 billion euro per year to fill the investment gap for energy-efficient buildings3. Over 2 million jobs in Europe could be created throughsuch investments in energy efficiency –in particular in the deep renovation of buildings4. (Source:EURIMA - European Insulation Manufacturers Association, Nov., 2019) Contact: EURIMA, Femke de Jong,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency news,  Insulation news,  

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Insulation,  

Switzerland, EU to Link Emissions Trading Systems (Int'l. Report)
Date: 2019-11-18
In Bern the Swiss Federal Council is reporting approval of revisions to the country's Reduction of CO2 Emissions ordinance with the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). The amended Ordinance was approved on November 13 and will enter into force on January 1, 2020.

The Swiss-EU agreement regulates the mutual recognition of emissions rights from the two ETS systems, each with its own legal basis. From January 2020, emissions from civil aviation and fossil fuel power stations will be included in the Swiss ETS, as is currently the case in the EU.

The EU ETS operates in 31 countries -- the EU's member states, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. A single, EU-wide cap applies, and auctioning is the default method for allocating allowances. The Swiss ETS is also based on the cap-and-trade principle.(Source: Swiss Federal Council, SwissInfo,, 15 Nov., 2019) Contact: Swiss Federal Council,

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Carbon Tax,  Carbon Emissions,  

German Carbon Tax Expected to Raise €19Bn by 2023 (Int'l.)
German Carbon Tax
Date: 2019-10-02
In Berlin, the German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz reports the government expects its €10 per ton CO2 pricing starting in 2021 in the buildings and transport sectors will bring in €18.8 billion by 2023 for its Climate Action Package, according to the German business publication Handelsblatt.

The Climate Action Package is an economic plan for the country's Energy and Climate Fund, which is expected to grow from €6.1 billion this year to €11.75 billion in 2023. Revenues from the European trade of CO2 allowances in energy and industry (EU ETS) are expected to raise an additional €14 billion. The Climate Action Package is intended to put the country on track to meet its 2030 climate targets. (Source: Handelsblatt, Clean Energy Wire, Other Media, 1 Oct., 2019) Contact: German Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz,

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  German Carbon Tax,  Carbon Tax,  

Global Carbon Credits Index Launched in UK (Int'l Report)
IHS Markit, Climate Finance Partners
Date: 2019-09-27
London, UK-headquartered information and analytics provider IHS Markit reports the launch of its Global Carbon Index, the first benchmark for the global price of carbon credits.

The Index tracks the performance of the largest, most liquid and most accessible tradable carbon markets -- the European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS), the California Cap-and-Trade Program, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The index is calculated using OPIS data and carbon credit futures pricing in those markets.

The IHS Markit Global Carbon Index was developed in consultation with Climate Finance Partners, a specialist in climate finance. IHS Markit is also well known for its daily OPIS Carbon Market Report, national carbon policies database and for developing industry standard methodologies for greenhouse gas accounting and disclosures. Its research and expertise on carbon policy impact, low-carbon and cleantech technologies and carbon risk management guide companies in energy, petrochemical, automotive, shipping, agriculture and other sectors critical to the global economy. (Source: IHS Markit , 25 Sept., 2019) Contact: IHS Markit,

More Low-Carbon Energy News RGGI,  EU ETS,  IHS Markit Carbon Market,  Carbon Credit,  

Germany Plans Multi-Billion Euro Climate Deal (Int'l. Report)
Carbon Tax, German Carbon Tax
Date: 2019-09-23
In Berlin, German chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government has reportedly agreed on a carbon price -- tax to meet its targeted 55 pct cut in carbon emissions by 2030. The price -- tax -- for CO2 emissions in transport and buildings is expected to come into force in 2021 at an estimated cost of €54 billion ($60 billion) by 2023.

The German system will be based on a trade in emissions certificates under the EU's emissions trading scheme (EU ETS). Germany is on course to miss its 2020 target of reducing 1990 greenhouse gas emissions by 40 pct, according to the Times of Aman report. (Source: Times of Oman, 22 Sept., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Carbon Tax,  Climate Change,  German Carbon Tax,  

No-Deal Brexit Means Lower Carbon Tax for UK Industries (Int'l)
Carbon Tax
Date: 2019-09-11
In the UK, the Herald Media is reporting PM Boris Johnson's government is preparing to impose a tax of £16 per ton of carbon, if the country exits the European Union without a deal on the 31st of October.

This tax would come into effect from the 4th of November, and would apply to all stationary installations that are currently subject to the EU ETS.

If the UK were to leave the EU without a deal, the country will also not be subject to the 28-member European Union's Emissions Trade System (EU ETS) which is key to the EU and its member nations meeting emission reduction obligations.

While UK businesses currently pay a carbon tax rate of £26 under the EU ETS, a "No Deal Brexit" carbon tax would result in a £10 cut in the carbon tax rate and would be profitable for UK industries. (Source: Herald Media, 10 Sept., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Carbon Tax,  Carbon Emissions,  

Switzerland Targets Climate Neutrality by 2050 (Int'l Report)
Date: 2019-08-30
In Bern, the government of Switzerland reports it will hike its existing target of cutting it greenhouse gases by 70-85 pct by 2050 to 100 pct carbon neutrality by the same year.

The non-EU member sources about 60 pct of its electricity from hydropower, 33 pct from nuclear and the rest from fossil fuels. Of the total, fossil fuels still make up about 63 pct of which roughly 10 pct is from aviation -- the global average aviation emissions is between 2 and 3 pct. Switzerland's domestic carbon trading scheme includes aviation emissions in the same way the EU ETS system does and the two are linked. (Source: Various Media, EURACTIV, 29 Aug., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Neutral,  Aviation Emissions,  EU ETS,  

Netherlands Calls for Minimum CO2 Emissions Price (Int'l, Reg & Leg)
Carbon Tax
Date: 2019-06-05
In Amsterdam, the Government of the Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte has proposed legislation setting a minimum price of €12.30 per tonne of CO2 emissions by electricity producers. If approved by parliament, the law would come into force in Jan., 2020, rising to €31.90 in 2030. The Dutch carbon tax would supplement the European Union's Emissions Trading System (ETS). (Source: Gov. of the Netherlands, Reuters, June, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Carbon Tax,  Carbon Emissions,  

British Steel Borrows to Meet Pre-Brexit EU ETS Rules (Int'l)
British Steel,Bexit
Date: 2019-05-06
Following up on our 15th April report on the European Union's decision to suspend Britsh Steel and other UK firms' access to free carbon permits under the EU ETS until a Brexit withdrawal deal is ratified, the UK government reports it has loaned British Steel £120 million to meet its obligations under EU ETS rules allowing industrial polluters to use carbon credits to pay for the previous year's emissions, or trade them to raise money.

Each free permit gives a firm the right to emit a tonne (1,000kg) of CO2. British Steel claims that it is discussing the impact of Brexit on its business with ministers and officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) and is in talks with Department for Business about financial assistance. British Steel has until 30 April to comply with EU emission rules. (Source: British Steel, Insider Media, 2 May 2019

More Low-Carbon Energy News UE ETS,  Carbon Emissions,  Brexit,  British Steel,  

British Steel Seeks £100Mn to Meet Pre-Brexit EU ETS Rules (Int'l)
Date: 2019-04-15
The BBC is reporting the European Union's decision to suspend UK firms' access to free carbon permits under the EU ETS until a Brexit withdrawal deal is ratified is behind British Steel's decision to seek a £100 million to meet EU ETS rules allowing industrial polluters to use carbon credits to pay for the previous year's emissions, or trade them to raise money.

Each free permit gives a firm the right to emit a tonne (1,000kg) of CO2. British Steel claims that it is discussing the impact of Brexit on its business with ministers and officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) and is in talks with Department for Business about financial assistance. British Steel has until 30 April to comply with EU emission rules. (Source: BBC, Steel Times, 14 April, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  EU ETS,  

BEIS Updated Short-Term Traded Carbon Values -- Used for UK Public Policy Appraisal (Int'l Report)
UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Date: 2019-04-12
In London, the attached UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy's (BEIS) short-term traded carbon values for UK public policy appraisal are used for determining the impact of government policies on emissions in the traded sector -- those sectors covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Short-term values quoted in this paper correspond to the period up to 2030 and long-term values correspond to the period post-2030.

HERE. (Source: UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, April, 2019) Contact: Gov of UK, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News UK Department for Business,  Energy & Industrial Strategy,  Carbon Emissions,  

EU ETS, Swiss Carbon Market Link Together (Int'l Report)
Carbon Marget, EU ETS
Date: 2019-03-08
Meeting in Bern, the Swiss cabinet reports approval of a deal that would link the Swiss and the European Union carbon emissions trading systems (EU ETS). With the linking of the systems the most polluting category of Swiss companies will be able to access a larger market and benefit from the same conditions as their European counterparts, beginning in 2020.

In Switzerland, 54 companies in sectors like cement, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, refineries, paper, heating or steel are linked to the Swiss emissions trading system. In Europe, there are around 11,000 firms that offset their emissions under the EU ETS.

In Switzerland, companies have the right to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere for free. Those that reduce their CO2 emissions and do not use all their quota can sell them to others.

Companies that do not participate in the emissions trading scheme are subject to a CO2 tax which can be refunded if they undertake to reduce their emissions. The coupling of the Swiss and EU emission trading systems will enter into force in 2020. It is part of the changes associated with the revision of the Swiss CO2 law. The agreement is for an indefinite duration and can be terminated with six months' notice by both parties.(Source:, 7 Mar., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Market,  EU ETS,  

UK Planning Post-Brexit Emissions Trading Scheme (Int'l Report)
Date: 2019-03-01
In London, the UK Energy and Clean Growth Minister Hon. Claire Perry is confirming the government is working on plans to develop a "post Brexit" domestic emission trading scheme [ETS) that could link with the existing EU ETS from January 2021. The UK government is hoping to leave the EU with a Withdrawal Agreement that allows it to remain in the bloc's ETS through to the end of the current trading period at the close of 2020 at which time it would establish a domestic ETS that could integrate with the EU scheme,

According to the Minister, the EU would be keen to integrate the two carbon markets, despite the fact formal talks on the issue will not start until the UK has resolved the current parliamentary stand-off over the Withdrawal Agreement. The UK is one of the largest participants in the continent-wide EU ETS which has been widely credited with helping to drive down emissions across the 28-member bloc.(Source: UK Energy and Clean Growth Minstry, BusinessGreen, 28 Feb., 2019) Contact: U.K. Energy and Clean Growth Minister,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Claire Perry,  EU ETS,  Aviation Emissions,  

Aviation Emissions Could Grow Sevenfold over 30 yrs. (Ind. Report)
International Civil Aviation Organization
Date: 2019-01-30
As we previously reported, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is projecting aviation carbon emission could grow seven-fold over the next 30 years -- 70 pct higher in 2020 than they were in 2005. ICAO forecasts that by 2050 emissions could have grown by between 300 pct and 700 pct.

Until recently, aviation had not been central to the climate change debate. Enjoying special status, aviation and shipping were excluded from the landmark Kyoto and Paris climate-change agreements. Urged to produce its own solutions, ICAO introduced a marginally successful global scheme in 2016 and the EU launched its Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) that serve the EU member countries.

A recent EC study of aircraft emissions notes that modern aircraft are 70 pct more fuel-efficient than 40 years ago and that while airlines with the highest load factors produce significantly less emissions per passenger than less successful ones, aviation still consumes 5 million bpd of oil and contributes about 2.5 pct of global emissions and that that 85 pct of carbon offset projects it had evaluated had failed to reduce emissions. (Source: International Civil Aviation Organisation, Irish Times, 29 Jan., 2019) Contact: ICAO, +52 55 52 50 3211,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News International Civil Aviation Organization,  Aviation Emissions,  EU ETS,  

UK Suspended from EU ETS Pending BREXIT Resolution (Int'l Report)
Date: 2018-12-21
In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) reports that as of January 1, 2019, it has temporarily suspended EU ETS emissions trading system processes related to Britain's convoluted and contentious BREXIT is concluded. Accordingly, the UK Britain will be unable to auction carbon permits, allocate them for free to operators, or exchange international credits for as long as the suspension remains in place, the EC added in a statement.

From January, any carbon permits issued by Britain will have to be identified by a country code ("marked") but transfers of permits already in circulation in and out of accounts held by UK operators will not be affected by the suspension. If BREXIT is ratified the suspension will be lifted, the EC added. (Source: European Commission, Reuters, 20 Dec., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  Carbon Credits,  BREXIT,  EU ETS,  

No-Deal Brexit Would Kill Britain's EU ETS Participation (Int'l)
Date: 2018-11-14
In Brussels, Reuters is reporting that without a deal to leave the EU , Britain, Europe's second largest emitter, will be excluded from the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and all other legislation to help limit the impact of climate change. The EC could also temporarily suspend permit auctions and free allocations linked to the UK market in an effort to minimize the worst disruption in key areas in case of a no-deal Brexit.

In October, Britain said that if there is a Brexit deal, the country plans to remain in the ETS until at least to the end of its third trading phase running from 2013-2020. (Source: Reuters, Nov., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions news,  Brexit news,  EU ETS news,  

Global Aviation Emissions Could Surge 700% by 2050, says ICAO (Int'l)
ICAO,European Commission
Date: 2018-11-07
According to European Commission (EC) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) data, by 2020, global international aviation emissions are projected to be around 70 pct higher than in 2005 and could grow by a further 300-700 pct by 2050.

Under the EU ETS, all airlines operating in Europe are required to monitor, report and verify their emissions, and to surrender allowances against those emissions. o date, the EU ETS is credited with reducing aviation sector's carbon footprint by more than 17 million tpy with compliance covering over 99.5 pct of aviation emissions.

The ICAO's Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) aims to stabilize CO2 emissions at 2020 levels by requiring airlines to offset the growth of their emissions after 2020. During the period 2021-2035, and based on expected participation, the scheme is estimated to offset around 80 pct of the emissions above 2020 levels. (Source: ICAO, AgriLand, 5 Nov., 2018) Contact: ICAO, +52 55 52 50 3211,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Emissions,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  ICAO,  CORSIA,  

Exchequer Plans £16 Carbon Tax to Replace EU ETS (Int'l)
EU ETS, Carbon Tax
Date: 2018-10-31
Bloomberg is reporting the Exchequer's (U.K Treasury Department) annual budget is proposing imposition of a £16 ($20 +-) per ton tax on carbon emissions if Brexit talks fail and the UK is excluded from the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), early in 2019.

Bloomberg notes that UK fossil fuel burning power producers presently pay an £18 per ton "floor price" for CO2 emissions PLUS almost £15 per ton for EU ETS carbon allowances for an estimated total of £33 per ton of carbon emissions. If the UK exits the EU without a deal, emitters will pay the £16 per ton under a planned Carbon Emissions Tax to replace the EU ETS carbon-market portion of their emissions costs, plus the floor price which would remain unchanged, according to the Exchequer proposal. (Source: UK Treasury Dept, Bloomberg, Others, 29 Oct., 2018) Contact: Exchequer,

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Carbon Tax,  UK Carbon Tax,  

EU ETS Carbon Prices on the Rise, says Report (Ind. Report)
Carbon Tracker
Date: 2018-08-22
According to a just released Carbon Tracker Initiative report, European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) carbon prices are on course to hit €25 by the year end -- about €7 higher than the current price on the EU carbon market. The report notes that EU carbon prices could average €35-40 per tonne over 2019-2023, accelerating the switch from coal to gas and questioning the maintenance of outdated coal and lignite power plants beyond 2021.

The Carbon Tracker Initiative is a team of financial specialists making climate risk real in today's capital markets. The EU ETS is the 28-member trading bloc's flagship emissions reduction tool. According to Carbon Tracker the EU ETS has been the hottest commodity market in the world over the last 16 months, with the price of European carbon allowances (EUAs) up 310 pct since May 2017, 120 pct since the start of the year. Carbon Tracker expects that, as a reaction, carbon prices are likely to rise to levels that trigger fuel-switching from coal to gas in Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, following in the footsteps of the UK. (Source: Carbon Tracker, EURACTIV, 20 Ag., 2018)Contact: Carbon Tracker,

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Carbon Tracker,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Credit,  

EU ETS Emissions Rise First Time in Seven Years (Int'l Report)
Date: 2018-04-04
The European Union Newsroom is reporting GHG emissions regulated by the trading block's Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) rose for the first time in seven years in 2017 due in part to stronger industrial output, according to European Commission data. About 45 pct of the EU's greenhouse gases is regulated by the EU ETS.

The EU ETS is expected to contribute about 65 pct of the reductions necessary to meet the EU's target of cutting emissions by 20 pct from 1990 levels.

UE ETS caps the emissions of around 12,000 power plants, factories, and airlines, forcing them to surrender one carbon permit for every tonne of CO2 emitted annually by the end of April of the following year. (Source: European Union Newsroom, Devdiscourse, 3 April, 2018) Contact: EU Newsroom,

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU,  EU ETS,  Carbon Emissions,  GHGs,  

Date: 2018-03-28
/visitor.php?keyword=Carbon Emissions" target=_blank>Carbon Emissions,  

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  European Commission,  Carbon Emissions,  

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  European Commission,  Carbon Emissions,  

2017 EU Carbon Emissions Rise Slightly (Int'l Report)
Date: 2018-03-28
According to a poll of six market analysts by S&P Global Platts, carbon emissions from power plants and factories covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) rose 0.5 pct to 1,757.3 million mt in 2017 -- the first time since 2011 after industrial production slumped in the wake of the financial crisis of 2009-10.

The increase was attributed to increased industrial output across the 28-nation EU trading bloc. The European Commission will publish preliminary data on verified emissions for 2017 on April 3. The data will be used to establish compliance levels for more than 12,000 installations participating in the EU ETS. (Source: Platts, S&P Global, Mar., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  EU,  Carbon Emissions,  

ICAP 2018 Emissions Trading Worldwide Status Report (Report Attached)
Date: 2018-03-02
According to the recently released report ICAP Status Report 2018, China has overtaken the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) as the world's largest carbon market, covering more than three gigatons of CO2e.

Since 2005, the share of global emissions capped by an ETS has tripled to almost 15 pct covering more than seven gigatons of carbon dioxide. Major ETS reforms have lifted carbon prices in the EU, California, New Zealand and the US Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and ensure these systems drive decarbonization post 2020.

The report also notes efforts to price carbon are progressing in Latin America and subnationals in North America and Mexico will start piloting a mandatory ETS later this year.

Download the full report HERE. (Source: ICAP, 27 Feb., 2018) Contact: ICAP, Jean-Yves Benoit, Dir. Carbon Market,

More Low-Carbon Energy News ICAP,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  Carbon Market,  

EC Approves EU ETS 2021-2030 Rule Changes (Int'l Report)
EU ETS, European Council
Date: 2018-02-28
In Brussels, the European Council (EC) reports it has formally approved the reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) for the period 2021 to 2030. The reform is a significant step towards the EU reaching its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 pct by 2030, as agreed under the EU's 2030 climate and energy framework, and fulfilling its commitments under the Paris Agreement. The reform includes the following:
  • The cap on the total volume of emissions will be reduced annually by 2.2 pct (linear reduction factor) and the number of allowances to be placed in the market stability reserve will be doubled temporarily until the end of 2023 (feeding rate);

  • A new mechanism to limit the validity of allowances in the market stability reserve above a certain level will become operational in 2023;

  • The revised ETS directive also contains a number of new provisions to protect industry against the risk of carbon leakage and the risk of application of a cross-sectoral correction factor;

  • The share of allowances to be auctioned will be 57 pct, with a conditional lowering of the auction share by 3 pct if the cross-sectoral correction factor is applied;

  • Revised free allocation rules will enable better alignment with the actual production levels of companies, and the benchmark values used to determine free allocation will be updated. The sectors at highest risk of relocating their production outside the EU will receive full free allocation. The free allocation rate for sectors less exposed to carbon leakage will amount to 30 pct. A gradual phase-out of that free allocation for the less exposed sectors will start after 2026, with the exception of the district heating sector.

    The new entrants' reserve will initially contain unused allowances from the current 2013-2020 period and 200 million allowances from the market stability reserve. Up to 200 million allowances will be returned to the market stability reserve if not used during the period 2021-2030.

    The EU ETS sets a cap on how much CO2 heavy industry and power stations can emit. The total volume of allowed emissions is distributed to companies as permits which can be traded. ETS is a cornerstone of the EU's policy to combat climate change and its key tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. The EU ETS limits emissions from more than 11.000 heavy energy-using installations and airlines operating between the 28 EU member countries and covers around 45 pct of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions. In 2020, emissions from sectors covered by the system will be 21 pct lower than in 2005. (Source: European Council, 27 Feb., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Council,  Carbon Emissions,  EU ETS,  

  • OECD Urges Increased Carbon Tax to Fight Climate Change (Int'l)
    Date: 2018-02-16
    In its new Taxing Energy Use 2018 report, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) calls for governments to start taxing CO2 emissions more aggressively, and warns that current taxation levels are not enough to fight climate change effectively.

    The OECD study concluded that there was little change in energy taxation levels between 2012 and 2015, and that only 0.3 pct of emissions are taxed at a level that is equitable to the cost to the environment. The report also notes that coal taxes are few and far between, even though coal accounts for nearly 50 pct of carbon emissions in the 42 countries studied in the report. In only five countries does coal taxation exceed €5 per ton of CO2.

    Carbon pricing is emerging as one of the main tools used by governments to limit emissions. China started to roll out its own carbon market this year and it will be the world's biggest by the time it is fully operational An update to the EU's own Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) was given the seal of approval by the European Parliament last week and the price of carbon has continued to climb ever since a draft deal was agreed in November. (Source: OECD, EURACTIV, 15 Feb., 2018) (Contact: OCED,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News OECD,  Carbon Tax,  

    EP Cuts CO2 Emissions, Funds Low-Carbon Innovation (Int'l)
    European Parliament
    Date: 2018-02-12
    In Brussels, the European Parliament (EP) reports iy has passed legislation to strengthen European Union's curbs on industrial CO2 emissions so as to begin delivering on Paris climate accord pledges. The new law, already informally agreed with EU ministers, will accelerate the withdrawal of emission allowances available on the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) Carbon Market which covers around 40 pct of EU greenhouse gas emissions. The new law provides for:
  • an increase in the yearly reduction of emission allowances to be placed on the market by 2.2 pct from 2021, up from the 1.74 pct planned at present -- this factor will also be kept under review with a view to increasing it further by 2024 at the earliest;
  • a doubling of the EU ETS Market Stability Reserve's capacity to mop up excess emission allowances on the market -- when triggered, it would absorb up to 24 pct of excess allowances in each auctioning year, for the first four years, thus increasing their price and adding to the incentive to reduce emissions.

    The EP also approved two funds to help foster innovation and spur the transition to a low-carbon economy. A modernization fund will help to upgrade energy systems in lower-income EU member states. MEPs tightened up the financing rules so that the fund is not used for coal-fired projects, except for district heating in the poorest member states. An innovation fund will provide financial support for renewable energy, carbon capture and storage and low-carbon innovation projects.

    The law also aims to prevent "carbon leakage" , i.e. the risk that companies might relocate their production outside Europe due to emission reduction policies. The sectors at the highest risk will receive their EU ETS allowances for free. Less exposed sectors will receive 30 pct for free. (Source: European Parliament, PR, Feb., 2018) Contact: European Parliament, Baptiste Chatain. +32 228 40992,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Parliament,  Carbon Emissions,  EU ETS,  

  • EU, MEPs Agree on Forest Sector 2030 Carbon Emission Target (Int'l)
    EU,CO2,Carbon Dioxide
    Date: 2017-12-18
    In Brussels, EU member states report they have come to a preliminary agreement with the European Parliament (EP) on the land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) regulation agreeing to set a "zero target" for emissions from this sector. The agreement provides EU-wide accounting rules for LULUCF activities for the 2021-2030 period.

    Along with transport, agriculture, buildings and waste -- which are not covered by the EU's Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) -- the LULUCF sector is required to contribute a 30 pct emissions cut by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, as part of the EU-wide commitment to cut overall emissions by 40 pct by 2030.

    The 2000-2009 period has been set as the reference point for comparing carbon emissions, after MEPs had arbitrarily set this to 2009-2012 under pressure from Sweden, Finnland and other countries with large forestry sectors.

    The lack of linkage between the European accounting from LULUCF and other continents' methods of forest management means that under the current proposal for the post 2020 Renewable Energy Directive, the EU counts burning biomass (pellets and wood) as renewable energy but does not take into account the net increase in emission if this wood is imported. (Source: EURACTV, 14 Dec., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  EU,  Carbon Sink,  Forest Carbon,  CO2,  Deforestation,  Reforestaion,  

    EU, Switzerland Linking Emissions Trading Systems (Int'l)
    EU ETS
    Date: 2017-11-29
    Tax News is reporting the European Union (EU) and Switzerland have inked an agreement to link their emissions trading systems (ETSs) allowing EU ETS participants to use allowances from the Swiss system for compliance, and vice versa.

    The EU's ETS operates in 31 EU countries -- plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway -- and covers approximately 45 pct of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions and works on a cap-and-trade principle. The Swiss ETS is also based on the cap-and-trade principle. The agreement will enter into force at the start of the year following ratification by both parties. (Source: Tax News, Others, 27 Nov., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Carbon Markets,  Carbon Emissions Trade,  

    EU Parliament Forestalls Int'l Flight Carbon Fees to 2021 (Int'l)
    Date: 2017-10-23
    Last Wednesday in Brussels, the European Parliament approved a plan to exempt commercial flights arriving in and/or departing from Europe from EU carbon emission controls until 2021.

    For the first time ICAO and the vast majority of its 191 member states recognize that aviation needs sustainable alternative fuels in the short term to effectively decarbonize the sector. There are numerous industry and state initiatives aiming at developing new technologies respecting sustainability criteria as well as enabling sensible business models. Therefore, beyond the questions of the targeted volume, ICAO role will be essential to frame those initiatives and exchange best practices around the world. (Source: ICAO, EURACTIV, Oct 16, 2017 ) Contact: ICAO, +52 55 52 50 3211,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ICAO,  Carbon Emissions,  EU ETs,  

    Higher EU ETS Carbon Price Expected in 2019 (Int'l)
    EU ETS
    Date: 2017-10-18
    According to a just released Reuters report, analysts have raised their forecasts for 2019 European carbon prices in the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) on expectations that plans to reform the market will significantly curb oversupply.

    Analysts expect EU Allowances (EUAs) to average €7.16 euros/tonne in 2018, and €9.92 per tonne in 2019, according to the survey of seven analysts by Reuters published on Wednesday. The forecasts were up 19 pct and 16 pct, respectively, on prices given in July, of €6.01 for 2018 and € 8.54 euros for 2019.

    The European Union's ETS, a cap-and-trade permit system to regulate industry pollution, has suffered from an excess of allowances (EAUs) supply since the financial crisis. (Source: Times of India, Reuters, Others, 11 Oct., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EUAs,  EU ETS,  Carbon Emissions,  Emissions Trading,  Carbon Emissions,  

    EP Votes to Rein In EU ETS Aviation Emissions (Int'k)
    ICAO,European Union
    Date: 2017-09-18
    Last week in Brussels, the European Parliament (EP) voted to place a firm time limit on the continued exemption of intercontinental aircraft emissions from participating in the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), putting it at odds with the more flexible approach backed by the European Commission. The Parliament also voted to reduce the amount of free allowances from 85 pct to 50 pct awarded to airlines under the EU ETS. Revenue from the auctioned allowances is used to fund EU member climate change policies.

    The European Parliament also voted to keep aircraft emissions from outside the European Economic Area out of the UE ETS until December 2020, pending the introduction of the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) in 2021. CORSIA details HERE. (Source: ICAO, Runway Girl Network, 12 Sept., 2017) Contact: ICAO, +52 55 52 50 3211,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Emissions,  EU ETS,  ICAO,  

    Dutch Heavy Ind. GHG Emissions Virtually Stagnate (Int'l)
    EU ETS
    Date: 2017-09-18
    In the Netherlands, the Dutch Emissions Authority is reporting Dutch heavy industry GHG emission levels have remained at virtually the same levels -- with only a 4 pct drop -- since the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) was launched in 2005.

    In 2016, Dutch companies covered by the EU ETS emitted 94 megatons of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and perfluorocarbons (PFCs). The slight drop was apparently largely due to a reduction of nitrous oxide production in the chemical industry. But even this level is, in fact, higher than such pollution in 2012, which is attributable the rise to the opening of coal plants resulting in CO2 emissions.

    Overall, the Netherlands' greenhouse gas emissions have fallen 11 pct since 1990, but the government is required to make a 25 pct cut by 2020. (Source: Dutch Emissions Authority, Volkskrant,, 15 Sept., 2017) Contact: Dutch Emissions Authority,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  GHGs,  Greenhouse Gas,  

    EU MEPs Considering UK's Post-Brexit EU ETS Status (Int'l)
    EU ETS,Brexit
    Date: 2017-09-13
    Reuters is reporting that European Union Parliamentarians(EU MEPs) will today to protect the EU carbon market -- EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) from collapse brought about by the UK's withdrawal -- Breixt -- from the EU. It is feared that the EU ETS scheme of carbon prices and credit trading could crash if the Brexit negations prove slow and the UK fails to reach at least a transitional trade deal with the EU before its complete withdrawal from the 28 member trading bloc less than two years from now. EU lawmakers will vote on a proposal to void all emissions permits issued by a country exiting the EU.

    The UK is the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Europe and its utilities are among the largest purchasers of EU ETS permits. (Source: EU, Reuters, Others, 11 Sept., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Brexit,  Carbon Emissions,  European Union,  

    China Set for November Carbon-Trading Plan Launch (Int'l)
    National Development and Reform Commission
    Date: 2017-09-08
    Following-up on our February 6 coverage, after four years of pilot programs in 7 cities and provinces involving more than 2,000 "high emitting" companies and manufacturers, China is set to finally launch a nationwide cap-and-trade carbon-trading system in November to help curb greenhouse gas emissions.

    According to the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the system will cover companies with annual energy consumption of over 10,000 metric tons of standard coal. These companies are primarily in the petrochemical, chemical, building materials, iron and steel, nonferrous metals, paper, electric utilities and aviation sectors.

    Carbon markets have been operating successfully in the European Union -- EU ETS -- and the U.S. state of California, despite some problems in determining prices and emissions caps. In time, China's national trading system could become the largest in the world and could help China meet its pledges to cut carbon emissions per unit of gdp by 40-45 pct below 2005 levels by 2020 and reach peak emissions by around 2030, according to the NDRC. (Source: NDRC, Radio Free Asia, Sept., 2017) Contact: China National Development and Reform Commission,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News China Cap-and-Trade,  China Carbon Market,  China National Development and Reform Commission ,  

    Swiss, EU Emissions Trading Systems Agree to Link (Int'l)
    EU ETS,European Union
    Date: 2017-08-18
    Meeting in Bern, the Swiss cabinet has approved a deal with the European Union-European Commission that would link the carbon emissions trading -- cap-and-trade -- systems of Switzerland with the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). The deal could be signed by the end of the year but would not be expected to take effect before 2019.

    The EU trading system includes approximately 11,000 stationary installations that emit around 2 billion tpy of CO2.

    The Swiss system caps the amount of emissions that can be emitted at 5.63 million tpy of CO2 for 2013 and must reduced by 1.74 pct every year, based on the amount defined for 2010. The Swiss cap is meant to be 4.91 million tonnes in 2020, which would provide for a reduction of 13 pct compared to 2013. The 54 "heavy emitter" companies in the Swiss emissions trading system emit a combined total of about 5.5 million tpy of CO2. (Source:, Aug., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cap-and-Trade,  EU ETS,  Carbon Emissions,  

    UK to Reset Carbon Price Following EU ETS Brexit (Int'l)
    EU ETS,European Union
    Date: 2017-03-10
    At Whitehall, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt. Hon. Philip Hammond's new budget is suggesting that the UK government will set a new carbon price following Brexit and the country's exit from the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

    According to the new budget, starting 2021/22, the government will target a total carbon price and set the specific tax rate at a later date. The budget announcement is intended to pave the way towards a domestic scheme designed to disincentivize high carbon emissions, although previous similar programmes to regulate high energy use have been criticized for allowing the most energy intensive industries a reprieve from regulations. (Source: Various Media, Clean Energy, 9 Mar., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  GHGs,  Carbon Emissions,  

    EU Emissions Trading Scheme Set for Overhaul (Int'l. Report)
    EU ETS,European Union
    Date: 2017-03-03
    The European Union member states have reportedly approved an overhaul of the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), including establishment of a €12b billion innovation fund to study and plan for cleaner emissions technology, pollution cuts, and plugging loopholes in current EU ETS legislation.

    The EU ETS is the EUs key policy for combating climate change by reducing emissions from more than 11,000 installations in the power sector and energy intensive industries. The policy involves a market-based cap and trade system which forces companies to purchase "allowances" to emit carbon. There have been widespread concerns that emissions were not being sufficiently capped due to an oversupply of allowances on the carbon market.

    Under the proposed directive the number of allowances can be gradually reduced, to drive up up their cost and provide an incentive for industries to adopt cleaner technologies. With the overhaul, the cap on emissions is expected to fall by 2.2 pct per year until at least 2024. (Source: EU, edie, Guardian, Various Others, 1 Mar. 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Union,  EU ETS,  GHGs,  Carbon Emissions,  

    Shippers Want Maritime Emissions Added to EU ETS (Int'l)
    BICEPS Network,Clean Shipping Index
    Date: 2017-02-17
    The Clean Shipping Index and BICEPS Network have called on the European Commission (EC) to include shipping emissions in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) under a special fund. The two associations are also supporting the EU Environment Committee's proposal to regulate carbon dioxide and other shipping sector greenhouse gas emissions.

    Ship CO2 emissions are completely unregulated, and shipping is the only sector in Europe not contributing to the 2030 emissions reduction target.

    Clean Shipping Index represents 29 companies involved in shipping goods around the world, while BICEPS Network includes various companies such as AB InBev, AkzoNobel, DSM, Farm Frites, FrieslandCampina, Huntsman, IOI Loders Croklaan, and Lamb Weston/Meijer, among others. (Source: BICEPS,, 14 Feb., 2017)Contact:BICEPS Network,; Clean Shipping Index,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Maritime Emissions,  Clean Shipping Index,  

    Parliamentarians Approve EU ETS Overhaul (Int'l Report)
    European Parliament
    Date: 2017-02-17
    Meeting in Brussels, European Union parlimentarians (MEPs) have agreed to boost greenhouse-gas emission curbs through the EU carbon market (EU ETS) and to bring EU climate policy into line with the aims of last December's COP21 Paris Agreement on climate change.

    MEPs approved the European Commission (EC) proposal to increase the "linear reduction factor" --- the yearly reduction of credits in order to deliver on the carbon curbs -- by 2.2 pct from 2021, as against 1.74 pct in the existing legislation. This factor should be kept under review with a view to increasing it to 2.4 pct by 2024 at the earliest, say MEPs. The parliamentarians also want to double the MSR's capacity to mop up the excess of credits on the market. When triggered, it would absorb up to 24 pct of the excess of credits in each auctioning year, for the first four years. They agreed that 800 million allowances should be removed from the MSR as of 1 January 2021.

    The draft measures were approved by 379 votes to 263, with 57 abstentions. MEPs will now enter into negotiations with the Maltese Presidency of the Council in order to reach an agreement on the final shape of the legislation, which will then come back to Parliament. (Source: EU, European Parliament, Press Release, Feb, 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Parliament,  Carbon Emissions,  COP21,  EU ETS,  

    EC Calls for EU ETS Upgrades, Amendments (Int'l, Reg. & Leg.)
    International Civil Aviation Organization
    Date: 2017-02-06
    The European Commission (EC) reports it is amending the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to better tackle aviation industry CO2 emissions. The amendment follows an agreement by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to stabilize international aviation emissions.

    At the 2016 ICAO Assembly, the European Union and its member states played an instrumental role in securing a deal on a global market-based measure to stabilize international aviation emissions. The system will require airlines to monitor and report their annual CO2 emissions on international routes and offset those exceeding 2020 levels.

    The EC is proposing to continue with the current geographic scope of the EU ETS for aviation, covering flights between airports in the European Economic Area. The roposal to revise the EU ETS will be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council, which are expected to finalize the co-decision process before the year end.

    Detailed rules of the Global Market-Based Measure will be prepared in 2017 and endorsed by ICAO in the course of 2018. The EU is committed to reduce domestic economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 pct by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. (Source: International Civil Aviation Organization, EU, Press Release, 3 Feb., 2017) Contact: ICAO, +52 55 52 50 3211,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Aviatioon Emissions,  International Civil Aviation Organization ,  

    Notable Quotes
    Sandbag,Agora Energiewende
    Date: 2017-01-30
    "The large switch from dirty coal to gas is welcome news. It helps the climate, and more importantly leads to cleaner air for Europe. Further switching away from coal is possible without building new gas pipelines and gas power plants. However, the ingredients to make this happen do not yet exist -- few old coal plants have announced they are planning to close and gas is still more expensive than coal because of a low carbon price ."

    David Jones, Sandbag analyst commenting on the failing EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), structural oversupply has now passed the landmark of 3 billion tonnes of CO2. (Source: Sandbag, David Jones, 25th January 2017) Contact: Sandbag, David Jones, +44 (0) 2038 766451,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU Carbon Emissions,  Sandbag,  

    EU Court Confirms EU ETS Carbon Tax on Swiss Flights (Int'l)
    EU ETS,Swiss International Air Lines
    Date: 2017-01-04
    In Luxembourg, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that the European Union (EU) is within its rights to apply carbon taxes to flights between Switzerland and EU member states although flights to and from other countries outside the bloc are exempt.

    The Lufthansa-owned Swiss International Air Lines contended that its treatment under the EU's Emission Trading System (EU ETS) infringed on the principle of equal treatment under EU law by treating Switzerland differently from other third countries. The ECJ disagreed with the airline and ruled that the bloc was not obliged to treat all countries outside the bloc equally.

    Although not an EU member, Switzerland has a special trading status within the EU, including on climate legislation. It is also the only nation outside the EU whose flights are subject to the EU ETS. As such, Swiss International Airlines has had to surrender its emissions allowances for flights to and from EEA states and Switzerland. It had sought damages for these carbon permits, worth millions of euros.(Source: Swiss Air, Manila Bulletin, Other Media, Reuters, 27 Dec., 2016) Contact: European Court of Justice,; Swiss International Air Lines,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Carbon Emissions,  

    EU Proposes Action on Maritime Emissions (Int'l, Ind. Report)
    International Maritime Organization,EU ETS
    Date: 2016-12-21
    The European Parliament's Environment Committee's recent decision to take regional action over ship emissions with respect to emissions trading, unless the International Maritime Organization (IMO) acts first, has been met with a mixed response.

    Specifically, the Committee decided to include shipping emissions in the European Union's (EU's) Emissions Trading Scheme ( EU ETS) from 2023 if the IMO does not have a comparable system operating for global shipping from 2021.

    Among the maritime industry groups, Danish Shipowners' Association, the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA), and the . International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) are opposed to the action. "Non-EU nations will be disappointed and very concerned by yesterday's vote in the European Parliament Environment Committee following IMO's adoption just a few weeks ago of a comprehensive road map for action," said ICS Director of Policy and External Relations, Simon Bennett. "But we hope that EU governments and the European Commission will see sense and recognize that threats to their trading partners will not serve the development of the global solution which both they and the shipping industry want and need." On the other hand, the Port of Rotterdam welcomed the decision. (Source: Ship & Bunker, Hellenic News, Various Other Media, 19 Dec., 2016) Contact: International Maritime Organization, Stefan Micallef, Director of Marine Environment Division, +44 (0) 20 7735 7611,; ICS, Esben Poulsson, Chairman, +44 20 7090 1460,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News International Chamber of Shipping,  International Maritime Organization,  Maritime Emissions,  EU ETS,  

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