EU Emissions Trading System Phase 3 (2013-2020)

Last updated: 1 July 2020

On 6 April 2009 the EU Council of Ministers adopted the final texts of the Climate and Energy Package, aimed at meeting the EU's goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% by 2020, as compared to 1990 levels. It comprised six legislative texts, one of which was a revision of the EU emissions trading system (ETS). The revision introduced new rules for the EU ETS, which came into effect at the start of the current, third, trading period (2013-2020) on 1 January 2013.


The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is a cap-and-trade system in force in all EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The system limits emissions from more than 11 000 energy-intensive power stations and industrial plants, as well as airlines operating between these countries. The system covers nearly half of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions.


Phase 3 covers 2013-2020, while Phase 4 will cover 2021-2030, introducing a variety of new funding mechanisms. Phase 3 of the EU ETS explicitly includes capture, transport and storage installations, as indicated in the programme’s ‘Annex 1’, which outlines the system’s scope.

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