Climate Action

ETS Summer University

The ETS Summer University project funded by the European Commission responds to the need for improved understanding of emissions trading as a climate policy instrument in developing countries and emerging economies.

The project provides support to future leaders to help build the capacity to design and manage emissions trading systems across the globe. It does so by combining in-person courses and an e-learning course.

ETS Training Courses

The in-person courses provide an intensive introduction to all aspects of the design and implementation of emissions trading systems as a tool to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Two types of courses are organised under the auspices of the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) since 2009:

  • The ICAP Summer Schools targeting a global audience take place in Europe typically in July. The call for applications is launched in April/May.
  • The 2-week ETS Training Courses with a specific regional focus typically take place in April-May. The call for applications is launched in January/February.

The courses are open to participants from around the world. Between 25 and 30 highly qualified policy makers and stakeholders from the non-governmental, academic and private sectors are selected for each course.

Teachers include experienced decision makers from administrative authorities in ICAP member countries, representatives of educational and research institutions, market analysts and industry representatives.

Topics covered:

  • Determination of the emissions cap and reduction targets
  • Scope and coverage of a trading scheme
  • Allocation methods
  • Adequate monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV)
  • Data collection and inventory generation
  • Registry design and implementation
  • Opportunities offered by linking systems
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Competitiveness concerns
  • Impacts on and responses from covered entities
  • Offset mechanisms
  • Market analysis and drivers

How to apply:

The calls for applications are published on the ICAP website.

ETS Online Course

The e-learning course is open to anyone interested in how emissions trading systems work.

The course covers the theory, design and operational considerations of emission trading systems, focusing particularly on the needs of developing countries.

It supports the development of best practice through the study of the major concepts and prominent case studies, including the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) as the world’s largest system.

The course is open to all levels of ETS learners and practitioners. It is particularly useful for policy makers and other environmental professionals.

How to take the course:

The online classes are free and accessible at any time on any computer with an Internet connection. Please note that Google Chrome or Adobe Flash 10 or above are required.

ETS Online Course

The course consists of 22 units:

Theory and Rationale of Emissions Trading as a Climate Policy InstrumentTechnical Design and Implementation of Emissions Trading SystemsUnderstanding the Market, its Stakeholders, and the Politics of ETS

Unit 1

Instrument Choice in Climate Policy: Theory and Practice

Unit 2

Emissions Trading in the Policy Mix: Opportunities, Challenges and Policy Interactions

Unit 3

Establishing an ETS: Design Elements and Choices

Unit 7

Scope and Coverage

Unit 8

Tools and Methodologies for Data Collection and Inventory Generation

Unit 9

Allocating Allowances in an ETS Part I: Basics

Unit 10

Allocating Allowances in an ETS Part II: Options, Implications and Experiences

Unit 11

Establishing a Functioning Registry: Standards and Best Practices

Unit 12

Monitoring, Reporting, Verification, Compliance and Enforcement

Unit 15

Carbon Market Dynamics

Unit 16

Balancing Supply and Demand: Addressing Uncertainty in Dynamic Markets

Unit 17

Carbon Market Oversight

Unit 18

Leakage and Competitiveness

Unit 19

Stakeholder Outreach and Involvement

Unit 20

Corporate Strategies to Manage Compliance and Risks

Evolution of Emissions Trading and Current Developments around the WorldMarket Readiness and Specific Challenges for Developing CountriesAdvanced Policy Options and Long-Term Perspectives

Unit 4

International Climate Change Cooperation and Global Emission Trading

Unit 5

EU ETS: Evolution and Experiences

Unit 6

ETSs around the World

Unit 13

Developing Countries in the Carbon Market: Specific Challenges and Market Readiness

Unit 14

Administrative Structure for Emissions Trading: Ensuring Capacity for a Functioning Market

Unit 21

Legal and Regulatory Framework for an ETS

Unit 22

Linking ETSs

User instructions

How to use the online course:

  • All 22 instructional units can be accessed from the ETS Online Course webpage. No login is required.
  • Units are classified in modules. Each module provides a learning path through for learners of different backgrounds and interests.
  • To access a specific unit in the online course, click on the unit title. This will link directly to the corresponding unit powered by Adobe Captivate.
  • Each unit employs a variety of interactive tools such as pop-up boxes, animations and rollover slides. Users are advised to carefully read the initial slides of a unit to understand the functionality of these features.

Learner/technical support:

Questions and issues related to the ETS Online Course may be submitted to Please allow a reasonable response time for queries.