The Emission Trading Scheme reform: will the Commission's proposal save the system?

29 May 2015
Jørgen Knud Henningsen (Senior Adviser to EPC on energy and the environment)

The European Union’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), proposed by the Commission in 2001, entered into force in 2005. It was the flagship instrument of an ambitious policy aiming to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses in the EU by making emission allowances a freely tradable ‘financial commodity’. However, in recent years, the cracks in the system have begun to show as the price of these CO2 emission allowances has dropped. In this Policy Brief, Jørgen Knud Henningsen argues that the envisaged ETS reform may not be enough to address the system’s shortcomings, and that there should be a more open discussion about its potential if it is to contribute to the EU’s goal of a largely de-carbonised economy by 2050.

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