Emissions increase under EU ETS

Emissions of CO2 from businesses in the EU Emissions Trading System actually increased slightly in 2007, official figures have revealed.

Although the 0.68% increase was well below the 2.8% growth in Gross Domestic Product last year, EU chiefs said the figures underlined the need for tighter emission caps than have been set for the 2008-2012 trading period.

The Commission argued emissions would also have been even higher if the ETS was not in place.

The rise was calculated from information provided by EU member states at the end of the first phase of the ETS, which ran from January 1 2005 to December 31 2007.

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: “Emissions trading is yielding results. Studies show that emissions would most likely have been significantly higher without the EU ETS.

“However, the small rise last year further confirms the need for a strict emission cap for the second trading period that started this January. This will help Europe to fight climate change effectively and reach its Kyoto emission targets.”

The total amount of verified emissions from EU ETS installations in the EU – except for Bulgaria, Romania and Malta – was more than 2bn tonnes of CO2 and was 0.8% higher than in 2006.

Germany and the UK had the highest levels of emissions and continued to increase the levels year on year during the first phase of the scheme.

France, meanwhile, managed to reduce its emissions each year despite an annual growth in the number of businesses covered under the scheme.

Of the 11,186 installations participating in the scheme last year, 68 failed to surrender enough allowances to cover their 2007 emissions by the May 1 2008 deadline. A full report on compliance is set to be published by the EU in June.

The second trading period began on January 1 and will run for five years until the end of 2012.

Kate Martin

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie