Robust, transparent, consistent and accurate monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions are essential for the effective operation of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), the EU's key mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively.
Industrial installations and aircraft operators are required to monitor and report their annual emissions in accordance with legally binding guidelines adopted by the European Commission. New rules concerning EU ETS monitoring and reporting, and accreditation and verification, apply to emissions from 1 January 2013.
Industrial installations and aircraft operators covered by the EU ETS are required to have an approved monitoring plan, according to which they monitor and report their emissions during the year. In the case of industrial installations, the monitoring plan forms part of the approved permit that is also required.
The data in the annual emissions report must be verified before 31 March each year by an accredited verifier. Once verified, operators must surrender the equivalent number of allowances by 30 April of the same year. Common rules for monitoring and reporting, as well as the accreditation of verifiers and the verification of annual emissions reports are important for ensuring the quality of the annually reported emissions and the credibility of the data.
This annual procedure of monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV), as well as all processes connected to these activities, are known as the “compliance cycle” of the EU ETS.
In line with the EU ETS Directive, the Commission has adopted guidelines for the monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, known as the "MRG". The original guidelines were adopted in 2004 for the first trading period (2005-2007) and last revised in 2007 for the second trading period (2008-2012). For the third trading period (2013-2020) and onwards, EU ETS MRV will be required to comply with two new Commission Regulations, one specific to monitoring and reporting and the other to verification and accreditation.
To promote administrative efficiency and a harmonised approach in the Member States, the Commission has published electronic templates for Phase II for monitoring plans and reports for tonne-kilometre data and annual emissions from aviation activities (in line with Annexes XIV and XV of the MRG).
The Commission is now developing and publishing new guidance and templates in support of the regulations for Phase III. The guidance aims to promote more harmonised and cost-effective application of the regulations in all Member States, and support to the required mutual recognition of accredited verifiers.
The Commission's aim is to make the requirements clearer and more transparent, and the guidance and templates easier to use and implement. Those already published can be found under the Documentation tab above. Further guidance is in preparation.