ETS Reform: what has happened so far

EU decision makers are currently discussing how to reform its Emissions Trading Scheme for the period 2021-2030. Here is what has happened so far:

October 2014 EU Heads of State and Government agreed to a 2030 at least -40% greenhouse gas reduction target below 1990 emissions. (This is also the EU’s INDC under UNFCCC). They also set the two targets that are to meet this overall target:

  • 1.Emissions Trading Scheme – ETS (for power & industry GHGs): -43% below 2005 emissions
  • 2. Effort Sharing Regulation – ESR (for transport, building, agriculture, some industry, waste):
    -30% below 2005 emissions, broken down in national targets for all 28 EU Member States, read more: Effort Sharing Decision/Regulation
In July 2015, the European Commission released its proposal on the ETS reform. This proposal is discussed by the European Parliament and the Member States. 

European Parliament 

UK MEP Ian Duncan (ECR), leads the European Parliament’s discussion.

European Council

In the Environment Council the Member States debate the ETS proposal under the leadership of its consecutive presidencies: 2016: Netherlands, Slovakia, 2017: Malta, Estonia (no UK presidency!), 2018: Bulgaria, Austria. Discussions are ongoing and will likely take until the middle or the end of 2017. 

On 28. Feb 2017 the Council decided on its Position on the ETS reform, see Outcome of the Environment Council agreement on the ETS reform


Negotiations between the European Commission, Council and Parliament start now that both the European Parliament and the Council have their positions. 

Latest Publications

  • NGO letter on the long term climate strategy ahead of the Competitiveness Council

    In this letter, NGOs Climate Action Network Europe, Carbon Market Watch, E3G - Third Generation Environmentalism, European Environmental Bureau, Sandbag and WWF European Policy Office call upon EU Economy and Industry Ministers to: Endorse the European Commission’s strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral economy and support an EU long-term climate target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2040; Call upon the European Commission to present a new and integrated EU industrial climate strategy for energy-intensive industries in support of a competitive, circular and net-zero emission heavy industry transition;  Recognise the immediate need to provide a policy framework which supports and incentivises the full decarbonisation and transformation of resource and energy-intensive industry sectors before 2050. NGO letter on the long term climate strategy ahead of the Competitiveness Council
  • Letter to REGI Committee on sustainable cohesion policy funding

    On 22 January 2019 and in February the REGI Committee will vote on the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) and on the European Regional Development Fund / Cohesion Fund Regulation (ERDF/CF) respectively. These two pieces of legislation will determine the shape and direction of Cohesion Policy post-2020.
  • NGO statement urging Turkish decision makers to step up at COP24

    More than 25 NGOs working in Turkey released a joint statement urging Turkish decision makers to focus on raising ambition, and reaping the benefits of a low-carbon just transition at COP24.
See All: Climate & Energy Targets