The EU is set to link its emissions trading system with Switzerland's system, after the European Commission adopted two proposals to finalise an agreement between the two sides.
Under the forthcoming linking arrangements participants in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) will be allowed to use allowances from the Swiss system for compliance, and vice versa.
Linking the EU ETS with other emissions trading systems expands opportunities for emissions reductions, thereby cutting the cost of fighting climate change.
Following several years of negotiations, the EU and Switzerland agreed on criteria and arrangements for linking the systems. Today, the Commission adopted a proposal for the signature of the agreement and another one for its conclusion (ratification). Both proposals will now be discussed by the Council, which will require the consent of the European Parliament in order to conclude the agreement.
Signature of the agreement could take place before the end of this year. Following this, both sides will ensure that all criteria are met and prepare for implementation. Once technical arrangements for linking the two systems are finalised, the agreement will then be ratified by both sides. The agreement will enter into force at the start of the year following ratification. This is not expected before 2019.