Emissions of greenhouse gases from installations participating in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) decreased by more than 2% in 2011 to 1,898 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent , according to the information provided by Member State registries.
Companies' level of compliance with the EU ETS rules was again high. Less than 1% of the installations participating did not surrender allowances covering all their 2011 emissions by the deadline of 30 April 2012. Two per cent of installations failed to submit verified emissions for 2011 by the same deadline.
As in 2010, almost all commercial airlines with significant operations to or from EU airports reported their 2011 emissions on time, despite the fact that these emissions do not trigger obligations to surrender allowances this year and are not needed for specific regulatory purposes. However there has been systematic non-reporting of 2011 emissions by 10 commercial airlines based in China and India.
Last year's record use of international credits has increased the buffer of unused allowances by some 450 million. This means more than 900 million more allowances have been put into circulation than were surrendered for compliance use over the period 2008-2011.
Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, said:
"ETS Emissions decreased by more than 2% in 2011 despite an expanding economic recovery. This good result shows that the ETS is delivering cost-effective emissions reductions. It also emphasizes why the ETS remains the engine to drive low-carbon growth in Europe. However, there is still a growing buffer of unused allowances. This is why the Commission, as announced last month, is now reviewing the time profile of phase 3 auctions with a view to reducing the number of allowances for auction in the early years of phase 3"