The European Commission has approved how Member States will calculate the number of free greenhouse gas emission permits that will be annually allocated to their industrial installations. Part of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), this phase of permit allocation applies from 2013 to 2020.
The calculation method is the result of a mechanical application of the legislation in force and based on an in-depth technical assessment.
It is politically important as it turns the long-standing goal of harmonised allocation rules across the EU's internal market into reality. However it should be noted that the decision is not related to the 'back-loading' discussion or the on-going reflections on future structural reforms of the EU ETS.
The decision marks the final step to implement the revised ETS Directive. Launched in 2005, the EU ETS is now in its third phase, significantly different from phases one and two and based on rules which are far more harmonised than before.