Public Consultation Launched on Linking Australian, EU Emission Trading Systems

5 March 2013: Australia's Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) and the European Commission's Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA) have launched an online public consultation on registry options for linking the Australian and European Union emission trading systems.

The DCCEE and DG CLIMA jointly authored a consultation paper on “Registry Options to Facilitate Linking of Emissions Trading Systems,” which focuses on registry options for an interim link between Australia's Carbon Pricing Mechanism and the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS). The interim link, to be established by 1 July 2015, will allow Australian businesses to use EU allowances to meet their obligations under Australia's cap-and-trade mechanism. In order to facilitate the linking process, the consultation outlines principles designed to ensure: fungibility of allowances, environmental integrity, ease of use, efficiency, protected access to allowances, and support for the development of international carbon markets.

The consultation paper also considers options for the full registry link that is to be established by no later than 1 July 2018, at which point businesses in Australia and the EU will be able to use carbon units from either system to meet their compliance obligations.

The DCCEE is further considering comments on amendments to Australian regulation needed to facilitate linking the two trading systems. The draft regulations are expected to be finalized by mid-2013. The DCCEE will use comments on the draft amendments to evaluate their potential unintended risks; practical operation and application; and consistency with the principles for linking registries outlined in the consultation paper.

Australia and the European Union agreed to link their emission trading systems in August 2012. The formal consultation on linking the two systems ends on 28 March 2013. [EC News Release] [DCCEE News Release] [Publication: Registry Options Consultation Paper] [IISD RS story on the 2012 Linking Agreement]