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EC Launches Public Consultation on Emissions Trading System

7 December 2012: The European Commission has launched an online public consultation, calling for comments from all stakeholders or experts in the field of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). The Commission is seeking feedback on structural options and views reflected in the report, titled “The state of the European carbon market in 2012,” which was published in November 2012. The consultation is open until 28 February 2013.

The Commission invites any citizens, public authorities and organizations, including from developing countries, to contribute to the report. The Commission seeks perspectives on the potential impact of structural options including: emissions reductions; ability of the EU ETS to cost-effectively meet the EU long-term target of 80–95% reduction; and estimated changes in compliance and administrative costs.

Meetings for dedicated stakeholders may also be convened in 2013 for in-depth discussion of the structural options.

According to the Commission, the structural options are meant to address a growing surplus of emissions allowances. The Commission foresees a build-up through 2013, with a surplus of 1.5 or 2 billion emissions allowances by phase three of the EU ETS, from 2013 to 2020.

The November report on the state of the EU carbon market offers six options for structural measures: increasing the EU reduction target to 30% in 2020; retiring a number of allowances in phase three; revising the annual linear reduction factor; extension of the scope of the EU ETS to other sectors; limiting access to international credits; and using discretionary price management mechanisms. [EU Press Release] [Public Consultation Webpage] [Structural Reform of the European Carbon Market Webpage] [Publication: The State of the European Carbon Market in 2012]