01 Oct 2002

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading in Europe

Thomas Legge / Christian Egenhofer

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Emissions trading has been shunned for a long time by policy-makers in the European Union as an instrument of environmental policy. It was the Kyoto Protocol that put emissions trading firmly on the EU agenda for the first time. Ever since, discussions on implementing an EU-wide scheme have advanced at a rapid pace and, in the specific case of greenhouse gas emissions trading, the EU and some of its member states have gradually become a major reference point for this instrument.
The CEPS Task Force on Emissions Trading and the New EU Climate Change Policy focused on the specific case of greenhouse gas emissions trading in the European Union, notably in relation to the Commission’s proposed Directive to establish an EU-wide emissions-trading framework by 2005. Members, who came from a very broad range of backgrounds, including industry – energy production and supply companies, major energy-intensive industries and service companies – business associations, environmental non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders, engaged in a sustained debate on how an EU scheme could fit into overall EU climate policy.