Connie Hedegaard: "Linking of European and Australian emissions trading systems will help build a robust international carbon market"
Connie Hedegaard and Greg Combet, Australian minister for climate change and energy efficiency, announced today that Australia and Europe are to link their emissions trading systems.
A full two-way link between the two cap and trade systems will start no later than 1 July 2018. Under this arrangement businesses will be able to use carbon units from the Australian emissions trading scheme or the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) for compliance under either system.
An interim link between the two systems will be established enabling Australian businesses to use EU allowances to help meet liabilities under the Australian emissions trading scheme from 1 July 2015 until the full link is operational.
Commissioner Hedegaard said: "We now look forward to the first full international linking of emission trading systems. This would be a significant achievement for both Europe and Australia. It is further evidence of strong international cooperation on climate change and will build further momentum towards establishing a robust international carbon market."
Minister Combet said: "Linking the Australian and European Union systems reaffirms that carbon markets are the prime vehicle for tackling climate change and the most efficient means of achieving emissions reductions."
The Australian government has agreed to enter into negotiations on a full-linking agreement and the European Commission will seek a mandate to do so in the coming months.