Climate Action

Emissions trading: emissions have slightly increased in 2017


Emissions of greenhouse gases from all operators covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) are estimated to have increased by approximately 0.3%[1] in 2017.

The EU ETS covers more than 11 000 power plants and manufacturing installations in the 28 EU Member States and Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, as well as emissions from airlines flying between European airports.

Power plants and manufacturing installations emissions show modest increase

Verified emissions of greenhouse gases reported for 2017 from stationary installations amounted to 1.753 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent in 2017[1].

Based on a comparative calculation, emissions in 2017 from stationary installations were 0.25% higher than in 2016[2].

Companies' level of compliance with the EU ETS rules is very high with a 99% compliance level. Approximately 1% of the installations which reported emissions for 2017 did not surrender allowances covering all their emissions by the deadline of 30 April 2018. These installations are typically small and together account for approximately 0.4% of 2017 emissions covered by the EU ETS.

Airlines' emissions continue strong growth

Under the EU ETS Directive, all commercial and non-commercial aircraft operators are accountable for their emissions from flights within the European Economic Area (EEA)[3] in the period 2013-2017.

Verified emissions from aircraft operators amount to 64.2 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent[1] in 2017.

Based on a comparative calculation, aviation emissions in 2017 were 4.98%[2] higher than in 2016.

The level of compliance was high: airlines responsible for 98% of aviation emissions covered by the EU ETS complied with the legislation in 2017. This includes more than 100 commercial aircraft companies based outside the EU, which operated flights within the EEA. Non-compliance cases mostly concern two commercial airlines that ceased operating in 2017.


Under the EU ETS, all operators (stationary installations and airlines) were required to report their verified 2017 emissions by 31 March 2018 and surrender corresponding allowances by 30 April 2018. The verified emissions data became publicly available on the European Union Transaction Log (EUTL) on 1 April 2018. The EUTL displays compliance data from 1 May 2018, with information on whether installations have complied with their obligation to surrender an amount of allowances equal to the previous year's verified emissions.

The third trading period of the EU ETS began on 1 January 2013 and will run until 31 December 2020. The revised EU ETS for the period 2021-2030 was adopted in 2018.

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[1] All emissions reported for 2017 as recorded in the European Union Transaction Log on 1/05/2018. In 2017 overall economic output expanded by more than 2%.

[2] Comparative calculation for installations and airlines operating both in 2016 and 2017 and new entrants in 2017: For the operators that reported emissions in 2016 but not for 2017, the 2016 emissions have been used as an approximation of their 2017 emissions. The source of the data is the European Union Transaction Log as of 1/05/2018.

[3] The limitation of the EU ETS to flights within the EEA from 2013 was agreed in Regulation No.421/2014 and extended by Regulation (EU) 2017/2392.