European Commission Emissions
For Norwegian Parliamentarians, 26.04.02
The EU is committed
under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8% from 1990
levels by 2008-2012. The EU has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions
by 4% between 1990 and 1999 and is thereby on track to meet its commitment, but
there is still a way to go.
Commission does not intend to meet its Kyoto commitments by concentrating on
any one measure or sector, but to take action simultaneously on a broad
range of fronts. I am very pleased
that the the Council of EU environment ministers adopted the Commission's
proposal for their decision on March the 4th to ratify the Kyoto
Protocol. We are confident that Member States will take the necessary steps
in order to allow for a simultaneous ratification together with the
European Community before 1st of June 2002.
welcome indications by Japan,
New Zealand and Norway that they are preparing for ratification.
measures on energy efficiency, promotion of combined heat and power,
fluorinated gases and shifting the balance towards less polluting modes of
But let me now
return to the emissions trading proposal;
proposals for an emissions trading system and other emission reduction
measures in parallel to ratifying the Kyoto agreement we wish to demonstrate
that we are serious about delivering on the commitments we have signed up to.
It is an
environmental policy instrument to lower the cost of reducing green house
(Allowances is the same as kvoter in Norwegian)
To recall; the EU is committed under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 8% from 1990
levels by 2008-2012.
As a measure to meet this
obligation, the Commission presented in March 2000 a green paper on Gas
Emissions Trading within the EU.
(At the same day, the Commission also presented the proposal on
Kyoto-ratification that was adopted by Council in March as well as a
Communication on the European Climate Change Programme and the key measures for
the implementation strategy.)
What are the key elements in the proposal?
Directive aims at establishing an EU framework for emissions trading and an
EU-wide market for emissions.
It thereby ensures the proper functioning of the internal market and prevents distortions of competition that might arise from separate national emission trading schemes. The Commission proposes that emissions trading in the EU should start in 2005, and in a first phase cover CO2 emissions from large industrial and energy activities.
These are estimated
to account for about 46% of the EU’s total CO2 emissions in 2010, and about
4,000 to 5,000 installations across the EU will be affected.
Each installation covered by the Directive will have to apply to the competent
authority in its Member State for a permit allowing it to emit greenhouse gases.
(This permitting procedure shall be fully co-ordinated with the procedure under
Directive 96/61/EC on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) in
order to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy. )
On the basis of the permits, Member States shall allocate emission allowances
to each installation every year.
It is these allowances that can be traded, although no operator of an
installation will be forced to trade.
The Directive would set harmonised penalties to be paid by operators for
not surrendering a sufficient number of allowances.
In the period 2005-2007, the Member States shall allocate allowances free of
charge according to a national allocation plan to be approved by the Commission
and respecting certain criteria so as to avoid state aids and distortions of
competition between sectors in different Member States.
For the 2008-2012 period, the Commission shall specify a harmonised method of
allocation at a later stage.
Member States will set up national registries to ensure the accurate
accounting of the holding and transfer of allowances, and the Commission
will designate a Central Administrator at Community level to keep an independent
record of allowances.
The Member States shall report to the Commission every year on the
implementation of the Directive.
The Directive will also set principles for the monitoring and reporting of
emissions from installations, on the basis of which the Commission intends
to adopt more detailed guidelines at a later stage, as well as criteria for the
verification of the operators' reports.
Negotiations are underway in the Council and in the European Parliament.
What happens when the
The first wave of enlargement may have happened before the commencement of this
scheme (2005), and so the number of participating countries would be larger than
the current EU 15.
The Accession Countries are aware of this, and are actively preparing schemes of
their own, while watching carefully developments within the EU.
What about the
Emissions trading in the European Economic Area?
All members of the
European Economic Area, including 2 members of the “Umbrella Group”, would be
eligible and welcome to join the EU system under the specific arrangements
between the EU and EEA countries.
Commission has invited Norway to participate in a working group that has
recently been established under the EC Monitoring Mechanism for greenhouse gas
emissions. This working group
will consider methodological and technical issues relating to aspects of the
emissions trading scheme, in particular the guidelines for monitoring and
reporting emissions and the establishment of registries.
The Proposal on emissions
trading represents a major innovation for environmental policy in Europe.
Emissions trading will play an increasingly important role over coming decades
when we will extend it to other sectors and greenhouse gases.
Our system will also be fully compatible with the emerging international
emissions trading system.
The emissions trading proposal shows how we intend to fulfil our commitments
by using new instruments.
As I stated in the introduction, the European Commission does not intend to meet
its Kyoto commitments by concentrating on any one measure or sector, but to take
action simultaneously on a broad range of fronts.
We all know that even the targets in the Kyoto Protocol are only a first step if
we want to prevent the severe consequences that climate change could have.
Thank you for
Thank you for your attention.
 Council Decision 93/389/EEC for a monitoring mechanism of Community CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions (OJ L 167, 9.7.1993, p.31), as amended by Decision 1999/296/EC.