"I welcome yesterday's vote by the Climate Change Committee in support of the Commission's proposal for how to allocate emissions rights under the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). The draft Decision lays down harmonised rules for determining how many free emission allowances individual operators will be entitled to receive during the third trading period of the EU ETS (2013-2020).
While auctioning will become the main principle for allocating allowances as of 2013, transitional free allocations will be given, notably to compensate installations deemed to be exposed to competition from outside the scope of the EU ETS. This vote represents a major milestone in the reform of the European carbon market and gives industries more regulatory certainty up to 2020.
The rules are the outcome of hard technical work and intense consultations with stakeholders over almost two years. I am grateful for the constructive attitude of all involved stakeholders in mastering this challenge.
The so-called benchmarks reflect the average greenhouse gas performance of the 10% most efficient installations in a sector or subsector in the EU in the years 2007 and 2008. They will encourage ETS installations to cut emissions and improve energy efficiency. Only the most efficient installations will receive all needed allowances for free - the rest will have to improve or buy additional emission rights from others.
The Commission will now submit the draft Decision to the European Parliament and the Council for a three-month scrutiny period before its final, formal adoption by the Commission immediately thereafter".