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EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) (Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC)

legislation type Legislative
Eu Directive
Passed in 2003
This Directive establishes a Community GHG emissions trading scheme from 2005, to enable the Community and the Member States to meet their Kyoto Protocol commitments. Directive 2004/101/EC reinforces the link between the EU's emission allowance trading scheme and the Kyoto Protocol by making the latter's 'project-based' mechanisms (Joint Implementation and the Clean Development Mechanism) compatible with the scheme. From 2005, all installations in the energy sector, iron and steel production and processing, the mineral industry, and the wood pulp, paper and board industry, and emitting the specific GHG associated with that activity, must possess a permit issued by the appropriate authorities. Each Member State must draw up a national plan indicating the allowances it intends to allocate for the relevant period and how it proposes to allocate them to each installation. The Directive also provides for flights that arrive or depart from a Member State's territory to be subject to the EU ETS (from 2012), measure that so far applies to intra-EU flights. Any operator failing to surrender the quantity of allowances commensurate with the emissions from his/her installation during the previous year will have to pay EUR100 (USD 125) per tCO2e and buy allowances for the excess emissions. The 2003 Directive was amended by Directive 2004/101/EC, Directive 2008/101/EC, Regulation (EC) No 219/2009, Directive 2009/29/EC, Decision No 1359/2013/EU, Commission Regulation (EU) No 389/2013, Regulation (EU) No 421/2014 and Regulation (EC) 2017/2392. Directive 2009/29/EC amends Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme of the Community. Directive (EU) 2018/410 was adopted in March 2018 to enhance cost-effective emission reductions and low-carbon investments.


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