Trading down to a low-carbon economy

The basics of the next phase of the EU’s emissions trading scheme have been settled but much of the important detail still remains to be negotiated. Paul Hatchwell reports on a ground-breaking, ambitious and increasingly complex regime

As 2008 closed, EU leaders finally agreed on a radical recasting of the bloc’s pioneering EU emissions trading scheme (EUETS) for phase III which runs from 2013 to 2020.

The world’s first major greenhouse gas cap-and-trade scheme, compelling big polluters to obtain allowances for emitting carbon dioxide, is the single biggest element of Europe’s commitment to cut greenhouse gas emission 20% by 2020 compared with 1990 l

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