Revision of the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) (Directive 2009/29/EC amending Directive 2003/87/EC)

Name of policy Revision of the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) (Directive 2009/29/EC amending Directive 2003/87/EC)
Jurisdiction Supranational region
Supranational region
Country European Union

Subnational region or state
City or local
Policy objective
  • Mitigation
Type of policy instrument
  • Economic Instruments
    • Market-based instruments
      • GHG emission reduction crediting and offsetting mechanism
      • GHG emissions allowances
Sector name
  • Electricity and heat
    • Industry
      • Transport
        • Air
      Policy description "The Community-wide quantity of allowances should decrease in a linear manner calculated from the mid-point of the period from 2008 to 2012, ensuring that the emissions trading system delivers gradual and predictable reductions of emissions over time. The annual decrease of allowances should be equal to 1,74 % of the allowances issued by Member States pursuant to Commission Decisions on Member States’ national allocation plans for the period from 2008 to 2012, so that the Community scheme contributes cost-effectively to achieving the commitment of the Community to an overall reduction in emissions of at least 20 % by 2020."

      (Source: EU-ETS operates in 31 countries (all 28 EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), limits emissions from more than 11,000 heavy energy-using installations (power stations & industrial plants) and airlines operating between these countries, and covers around 45% of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions. (Source:

      "The EU ETS is now in its third phase – significantly different from phases 1 and 2. The main changes are: - A single, EU-wide cap on emissions applies in place of the previous system of national caps - Auctioning is the default method for allocating allowances (instead of free allocation), and harmonised allocation rules apply to the allowances still given away for free - More sectors and gases included - 300 million allowances set aside in the New Entrants Reserve to fund the deployment of innovative renewable energy technologies and carbon capture and storage through the NER 300 programme" "In 2020, emissions from sectors covered by the system will be 21% lower than in 2005. In 2030, under the Commission's proposal, they would be 43% lower." (Source:

      Policy type
      • Changing activity
      • Energy efficiency
      • Renewables
      • Nuclear or CCS or fuel switch
      • Non-energy5
      Policy stringency
      Implementation state Superseded
      Date of decision 2009
      Start date of implementation
      End date of implementation
      High impact GHG reduction
      Impact indicator

      Source or references

      Supports policies
      Is supported by policies
      Comments (background and assessment)
      Status Final

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