European Commission Adopts Power Sector Rules and Transport 2050 Strategy

29 March 2011: The European Commission has issued rules on the transitional free allocation of allowances to the power sector, in preparation for the third phase of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) (2013-20), when the power sector will have to buy its allowances. In addition, it adopted a comprehensive strategy for a competitive transport system.

On 29 March 2010, the Commission adopted a decision laying down the rules for allocating free emission allowances to eligible power installations, and setting out the elements that the Commission has to assess when receiving an application to ensure that this would not undermine the overall objectives of the Emissions Trading Directive or be incompatible with EU state aid or internal market rules.

On 28 March 2011, the Commission adopted the strategy “Transport 2050” for a competitive transport system that will increase mobility, fuel growth and employment, dramatically reduce Europe's dependence on imported oil, and cut carbon emissions in transport by 60% by 2050. The strategy includes the following goals to be achieved by 2050: no more conventionally-fuelled cars in cities; 40% use of sustainable low carbon fuels in aviation, and at least 40% cut in shipping emissions; 50% shift of medium distance intercity passenger and freight journeys from road to rail and waterborne transport; and, as a result, 60% cut in transport emissions by the middle of the century. The strategy further provides that by 2050 low-carbon fuels in aviation will reach 40%, and EU carbon dioxide emissions from maritime bunker fuels will be reduced by 40%, while the EU will work with international partners and in international organisations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to promote European competitiveness and climate goals at a global level. [EU Press Release on the Decision] [EU Press Release on the Strategy]