Brussels, 2 April 2007
The European Commission today concluded the assessment of Austria's national plan for allocating carbon dioxide (CO2) emission allowances for the 2008-2012 trading period of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). The Commission accepted Austria's national plan on condition that certain changes are made, including a reduction in the total number of emission allowances proposed. The cleared annual allocation is 30.7 million tonnes of CO2 allowances, 6.4% less than Austria had proposed. The Emissions Trading Scheme ensures that greenhouse gas emissions from the energy and industry sectors covered are cut at least cost to the economy, thus helping the EU and its Member States to meet their emission commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.
Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: "Today's decision reinforces the strong signal we gave with previous decisions that Europe is fully committed to achieving its Kyoto target and to making the Emissions Trading Scheme a successful weapon for fighting climate change. While I welcome the revised Austrian climate strategy recently adopted as a step forward, the plan proposed in combination with the new strategy was insufficient to guarantee the achievement of Austria's Kyoto target. The Commission is assessing all national plans in a consistent way to ensure equal treatment of Member States and to create the necessary scarcity in the European carbon market. This is how we have assessed the plan decided today, and the same standards will be applied to all others."
Assessment of the NAPs
Following the Commission's decisions in November 2006, January 2007, February 2007 and March 2007 (IP/06/1650, IP/07/51, IP/07/136, IP/07/247, IP/07/412 and IP/07/415), Austria's is the 18th national allocation plan (NAP) for the 2008-2012 period to be assessed by the Commission.
NAPs determine for each Member State the 'cap,' or limit, on the total amount of CO2 that installations covered by the EU ETS can emit, and specify how many CO2 emission allowances each plant will receive.
The Commission is responsible for assessing Member States' proposed NAPs against 12 allocation criteria listed in the Emissions Trading Directive. The Commission may accept a plan in part or in full. The assessment criteria seek, among other things, to ensure that plans are consistent (a) with meeting the EU's and Member States' Kyoto commitments, (b) with actual verified emissions reported in the Commission's annual progress reports, and (c) with technological potential for reducing emissions. In this context, the Commission is requiring Austria to reduce its proposed cap by 2.1 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year to 30.7 million tonnes.
Other assessment criteria relate to non-discrimination, EU competition and state aid rules, and technical aspects. In this regard, the Commission is requiring further changes to Austria's plan concerning:
The Commission's approval of the plan will become automatic once Austria has made the appropriate changes.
Summary information on the 18 plans assessed to date:
Approved allowances for 2005-2007, verified emissions in 2005, proposed caps for 2008-2012, approved caps for 2008-2012 and additional emissions covered in 2008 to 2012
. Directive 2003/87/EC, as amended by Directive 2004/101/EC.
 These mechanisms are known as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), for projects carried out in developing countries, and Joint Implementation, for projects carried out in developed countries or economies in transition.
 The figures indicated in this column comprise emissions in installations that come under the coverage of the scheme in 2008 to 2012 due to an extended scope applied by the Member State and do not include new installations entering the scheme in sectors already covered in the first trading period.
 Including installations which Belgium opted to exclude temporarily from the scheme in 2005
 Additional installations and emissions of over 6 million tonnes are already included as of 2006.
 Verified emissions for 2005 do not include installations which the UK opted to exclude temporarily from the scheme in 2005 but which will be covered in 2008 to 2012 and are estimated to amount to some 30 Mt.
 The sum of verified emissions for 2005 does not include installations which the UK
opted to exclude temporarily from the scheme in 2005 but which will be covered in 2008 to 2012 and are estimated to amount to some 30 Mt.