Climate Action

Commission appoints European Energy Exchange AG (EEX) as first common auction platform

Judge hammer and keyboard. Legal certainty on the Internet © Hemera

The European Commission has signed a contract with EEX to appoint the latter as the transitional common auction platform to auction phase 3 allowances on behalf of 24 Member States under the EU Emissions Trading System. The platform will also auction aviation allowances. The award notice was published in the Official Journal of 8 September 2012.

The Commission, the participating Member States and EEX have already begun preparations for the start of the auctions. The tentative start date for auctions on the common platform is end-October. EEX will publish the exact auction dates and time windows for 2012 at least two weeks in advance of the first auction. EEX will auction at least 250 million allowances before it will be replaced by the winning bidder of a forthcoming tender procedure for the next common auction platform.

The ETS Directive and the ETS Auctioning Regulation provide for the auctioning, this year, of 120 million phase 3 allowances and some 30 million aviation allowances. The 24 Member States making use of the common auction platform have a share of some 60% of the total volume to be auctioned.

Opt-out auction platforms

Germany, Poland and the UK previously decided to opt out of the common platform and to appoint their own auction platforms.

EEX has also been selected by Germany as its transitional opt-out auction platform. On 30 August 2012, the Commission approved this by means of an amendment to the Auctioning Regulation. This amendment was published in the Official Journal on 31 August 2012. Germany has confirmed that it intends to start its auctions for the third trading period and for aviation in early October. More information about the tentative start of auctions on the German opt-out platform is available here.

The United Kingdom intends to appoint ICE Futures Europe (ICE) as its opt-out auction platform and the approval procedure is ongoing. The UK confirmed that its Phase III and aviation auctions remain on track to begin in November 2012. More information about the tentative start of auctions on the UK platform is available here.

Poland has not yet notified the opt-out auction platform it intends to appoint. As long as a valid appointment is not in force, the Auctioning Regulation enables Poland to auction its share of allowances on the common auction platform.

Any auctions of phase 3 allowances and aviation allowances under the Auctioning Regulation can take place only after an upgrade of the single registry has been activated. This is currently scheduled for the last week of September or the first week of October. More information on the exact timetable will be communicated on this website on 17 September. Separate auctions for general allowances and aviation allowances will be conducted both on the common as well as the opt-out platforms.

The completed selection of the first common platform provides clarity for the market about the platforms which will handle some 90% of the early auction volume.