EU Emission Trading System


The EU ETS has been the cornerstone climate change policy in the European Union since 2005, and has gone through a number of reviews since. The EU institutions reached a preliminary compromise for the phase 4 revision on November. This revision, which will come into effect in 2021 aims to strenghten the ETS and solve some issues the policy has faced during the last phase. 


The EU ETS operates in 31 countries and covers 11.000 instalations, which account for about 45% of the European emissions. The ETS is designed to reduce covered emissions in a cost-effective way by providing a price signal for carbon to the market. Since its initiation in 2005, the system has gone through different phases. The next phase, ranging form 2021 to 2030, aims to reduce covered emissions by 43% compared to 2005.

ERCST has for a number of years been involved in initiatives and research on EU ETS, and its staff has over 10 years of experience on the topic.

In 2018, ERCST produced the '2018 State of the EU ETS report' together with a number of other European Think Tanks, which takes stock of the record of the EU ETS during the previous year. This report is part of a yearly series, which will continue in 2019.

Currently, ERCST is focusing its work on on topics such as the Market Stability Reserve (MSR) and the implementation of secondary legislation in light of the Phase 4 review, including the implementation of the funding mechanism, changes to free allocation rules and the revision of the State aid Guidelines

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2019 State of the EU ETS Report
Date: 07 May 2019

Author(s): Andrei Marcu, Emilie Alberola, Jean-Yves Caneill, Matteo Mazzoni, Stefan Schleicher, Charlotte Vailles, Wijnand StoefsDomien Vangenechten and Federico Cecchetti

Funding Mechanisms in the fourth phase of the EU ETS - Exploring what is known and identifying issues for clarification and discussion.
Date: 19 September 2018

Author(s): Andrei Marcu, Jean-Yves Caneill, Wijnand Stoefs and Domien Vangenechten

2018 State of the EU ETS Report
Date: 17 April 2018

Author(s): Andrei Marcu, Emilie Alberola, Jean-Yves Caneill, Matteo Mazzoni, Stefan Schleicher, Wijnand Stoefs, Charlotte Vailles and Domien Vangenechten