Climate Action

2nd EU ETS Compliance Conference

03/09/2009 - 04/09/2009

3 - 4 September 2009 – Centre Borschette, Rue Froissart 36, Brussels


On 3 and 4 September the 2nd Compliance Conference was held in Brussels with the participation of approximately 120 representatives from the Competent Authorities, government agencies and ministries of environment of the 27 Member States and from Norway and Iceland. This conference followed the establishment of the EU ETS Compliance Forum in the Climate Change Committee meeting of 29 January 2009.

1 January 2005 saw the start of the first trading period of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS), established by EU Directive 2003/87/EC. The second EU ETS trading period began on 1.1.2008. During the first 4 years of the EU ETS Operators, Verifiers, Competent Authorities and Member States gathered a wide range of practical experiences with emissions trading. However, major improvements can and need to be made in the practice of compliance of EU ETS. It is important, not least in view of the revised ETS directive for post-2013 and to continue the efforts to strengthen and harmonise the chain of compliance processes of GHGs emissions trading.

The second Compliance Conference “ EU ETS Compliance: Going Forward Together” built on the experience and success of the first Compliance Conference held on 10 and 11 September 2008. The 2nd Conference took stock of the work that had been done in the context of the ETS Compliance Forum in the past twelve months.  At the same time, and in line with the overarching theme of the 2009 Conference “Going forward together” the conference participants looked to the main tasks ahead under the conference motto: "How to realise the major steps towards a more harmonised and common compliance”. 

The conference was restricted to representatives of government agencies and Competent Authorities to allow a free discussion between the participants and the expression of differing views.

Objectives and deliverables of the 2ndCompliance Conference

  1. To bring Competent Authorities (CAs) and policymakers together to exchange experiences on the more pressing compliance issues of emissions trading and to highlight best practices;
  2. To resolve those compliance issues that have given or may give rise to a different outcome, and in order to strengthen the system, to assess would it benefit from common solutions or a more harmonized approach, such as for instance on MRG, verification, enforcement and in the validation of monitoring plans, enforcement and the application of sanctions in the aviation sector;
  3. To inform CAs of the activities that have been carried out over the last 12 months and to show how cooperation between the CAs can be successful and can lead to a more effective and cost-efficient compliance practice;
  4. To agree on the activities and actions the Compliance Forum should focus its attention on in the next 2-3 years in order to ensure that these activities and actions are carried out in a cooperative effort by the CAs so as to bring the various compliance processes and practices up to the quality level that will suffice to withstand the pressures and challenges of the third trading period.


The main deliverable of the Conference was to provide a well-structured and coordinated input for the work plan for 2010-2012 aimed at strengthening the EU ETS compliance processes and to carry out the priority actions and activities to deliver that. The conference was to deliver the organization of the Task Forces under the umbrella of the Compliance Forum that will ensure that these actions and activities are carried out the next 2-3 years.


The two day conference was held in the Albert Borschette Conference Building in Brussels. The first day consisted of expert discussion groups organized in the form of four workshops. The second day consisted of three plenary, cross-section sessions, intended to reflect on more long term compliance issues.

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