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European Union: EU Emissions Trading System to Join U.N. Carbon Credit Registry by End of 2008

(Sept. 4, 2008) The European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme, which was established in 2005 to meet the EU's Kyoto Protocol commitments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, enables companies to trade carbon dioxide pollution permits. Thus, companies that go beyond their CO2 emissions targets can purchase allowances from “greener” companies. With the termination of the first trading period (2005-2007), the European Commission is currently evaluating implementation of the system and intends to renew its objectives and expand the sectors covered under the scheme. The Commission has already announced a proposal to include new sectors, such as aviation, petrochemicals, ammonia, and aluminum, as well as two new gases, nitrous oxide and per fluorocarbons. The Commission has also established a ceiling of total EU industrial emissions at 21% below 2005 levels, to be achieved by 2020. This new EU-wide objective replaces the current targets of the 27 EU Member States. (EU Emissions Trading Scheme, EURACTIV, Aug. 12, 2008, available at

On August 6, 2008, the Commission announced plans to connect the EU's Community Independent Transaction Log (CITL) and the registries of the Member States with the U.N.'s International Transaction Log (ITL). The CITL and ITL registries are electronic accounting systems that contain records of emissions allowances or carbon credits of those companies that take part in the carbon market. The connection will enable companies to transfer certified emission reductions issued under the Clean Development Mechanism into their accounts, held in EU Member States' registries. Under this mechanism, countries that have committed to emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol are to implement emissions reduction projects in developing countries. Upon successfully completing a number of tests on the connection, the Commission will announce the date of the official connection. (Press Release, IP/08/1246, EUROPA, Emissions Trading: Commission to Connect EU with UN Carbon Credit Registry Before December (Aug. 6, 2008), RAPID database, available at