Today, the European Commission’s draft Regulation banning the use of credits from industrial gas projects in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) post-2012 was formally approved. Environmental groups are now calling on EU Member States to extend the ban to sectors not covered by the EU ETS.
As of April 2013, offset credits from industrial gas projects (HFC & N20 adipic acid) will be banned in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). This decision was approved by all 27 EU member states and hailed by environmental campaigners as a shining example of the willingness of Member States to prioritise the integrity of the emissions trading system over the financial interests of a handful of corporate investors.
But the ban does not cover EU Member States’ national targets in the non-traded sectors (e.g. agriculture and transport). This is significant given that under the Effort Sharing Decision, up to two-thirds of the total emissions reductions required of EU Member States from 2013-2020 can be met though offsets.
Environmental groups fear that in the absence of a clear commitment, some Member States may continue to use these credits to count towards their national targets, while companies are banned from using them to meet their emissions reduction targets under the EU-ETS.
Alarmed by this existing loophole, the Danish government was the first to launch a voluntary initiative that extends the ban to their national targets. They are expected to ask other Member States to sign a declaration at the upcoming Environment Council in June.
CDM Watch, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Sandbag Climate Campaign have called on all EU Member States in open letters to take immediate action to exclude these credits from national registries as soon as is feasible.
A number of EU Member States have indicated they will follow Denmark’s direction, including the Irish and the German governments. But remaining governments, including the Swedish and Italians have yet to make commitments.
CDM Watch Programme Director, Eva Filzmoser, sums up the contradiction:
“It would be hypocritical and a competitive disadvantage if, say, the Swedish government was allowed to keep using the toxic credits while it has endorsed a Regulation that prohibits its energy utility Vattenfall to do so“ said Eva Filzmoser, Programme Director of CDM Watch.
You can download the Open Letters to EU Member States [here]( “”)