Tuesday 7 June A cap on the total emissions allowed within the scheme is set, and allowances adding up to the cap are provided to the companies regulated by the scheme.
The companies are required to measure and report their carbon emissions and to hand in one allowance for each tonne they release. Companies can trade their allowances, providing an incentive for them to reduce their emissions. The current cap is set to fall by 1.
In a basic sense the ETS has worked. It has set a cap on half of Europe's carbon emissions, which were previously unregulated, and the companies covered by the scheme are no longer free to pollute.
Carbon has a price and this influences the economics of burning fossil fuels. For example, burning coal creates more carbon pollution than burning gas, so coal plant operators need more permits. The higher the price of the permits, the more expensive it is to use coal rather than gas. Power companies choosing how to generate electricity therefore have an extra cost associated with the more polluting options, so they'll choose gas over coal more of the time.
Putting precise numbers on how far the ETS has worked in practice is difficult, as it means estimating what the level of pollution would have been if the ETS was not in place. It is likely, however, that in its first few years, the scheme was responsible for turning an anticipated increase in emissions into a decline of 2.
One in-depth study analysed background emissions, economic trends and weather patterns, and concluded that between and the ETS reduced emissions by m tonnes, with a best guess of m tonnes across Europe. These are fairly modest gains — especially in the context of rapidly of increasing imports of carbon-intensive goods from China and elsewhere — and although steeper reductions have been set for the third 'phase' of the ETS, which runs from to , the policy has been heavily criticised and beset with problems , not least of which is the large number of permits expected to be held over from the current phase.
Nonetheless, Europe has a price on carbon and a working mechanism to limit and reduce climate pollution, which puts it further ahead than other major regions in the world. This article was provided by Sandbag , part of the Guardian Environment Network. Based on a work at theguardian. Emissions trading Greenhouse gas emissions Europe resources. Government divisions over approach to climate change plan are bridged, but targets will be reviewed in to consider their impact on industry. France sets carbon price floor.
Brexit will force EU countries 'to make deeper, costlier carbon cuts'. EU open to increasing carbon target, says top climate negotiator. EU set to emit 2bn tonnes more CO2 than Paris climate pledge.More...