This indicator shows greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) since its inception in 2005. It also shows projections for these emissions to 2030, the current and newly proposed targets for that year and the planned maximum emission allowance (cap).
Figure 2 shows trends in emissions, in percentage change since 2013, for selected industry sectors and for aviation. The year 2013 was chosen as the baseline, since this is the first year with which comparisons can be made in sectoral categories.
Detailed data and information on historical ETS emissions can be found in the EEA’s ETS data viewer and associated documentation. Information on GHG projections can be found in the EEA’s dedicated GHG projections data viewer, Member States’ GHG emission projections data download page and climate and energy platform.
The EU ETS applies in the European Economic Area, comprising all 27 EU Member States (EU-27), Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The United Kingdom has not participated in the EU ETS since 2021 and is excluded from this indicator. The exceptions are power plants in Northern Ireland, which are covered by the EU ETS and are included in this indicator (unless stated otherwise).
The EU ETS applies to stationary facilities covering the electricity and heat sector and energy-intensive industries, with emissions over certain thresholds. Flights departing from and landing in participating countries are also covered by the ETS, as well as flights from EEA countries to the United Kingdom and Switzerland. For more information on the scope of the ETS, please visit the European Commission’s dedicated EU ETS web page.
The projections shown in this indicator refer to the EU-27 plus Iceland and Norway. Emissions from Liechtenstein and Northern Ireland are not included in the projections because of a lack of data. However, given the low levels of ETS emissions from these territories, the omission of these projections does not significantly affect the expected trend or the assessment of progress.
It should be noted that, among other differences, the newly proposed target included in the Fit for 55 package (a 61% reduction compared with 2005) would apply to an extended scope, including maritime transport. More information is available on the European Commission web page ‘Increasing the ambition of EU emissions trading’. In this indicator, we consider only the current scope of the EU ETS, and this newly proposed target is treated as indicative.
Data on emissions from the EU ETS originate from the EU Transaction Log and are provided by the European Commission to the European Environment Agency. These data are then processed by the European Topic Centre on Climate Change Mitigation (ETC/CM). More information is available from ETC/CM documentation (see Data Quality paper and Background Note under the tab ‘Additional information’).
The scope of the ETS has changed since its inception, with new sectors, gases and countries being added. To make emissions comparable across years, an estimate was made to reflect the current scope across the whole timeline (i.e. how emissions would have been in the past if the current scope had been applied). More information on this scope estimate can be found here (ETC/CME, 2019).
Projections of GHG emissions are provided by Member States to the EEA under the Governance Regulation. This occurs every 2 years, with some Member States providing updates yearly.
The cap was calculated based on an established yearly reduction of 2.2% on the number of released allowances. The newly proposed cap is based on a reduction of 4.2% annually.
The EU ETS is a cornerstone of EU policy to combat climate change and is a key tool for reducing GHG emissions in a cost-effective way. It was the world's first major carbon market and remains the largest.
The EU ETS is a ‘cap and trade’ system, whereby a cap (i.e. a determined quantity of emission allowances) is set on the emissions from the installations covered by the system. The cap decreases gradually with the aim of achieving emission reductions over time. Installations can trade emission allowances with one another, to ensure that emission reductions take place with the least cost.
This indicator helps to monitor the reduction in emissions under the EU ETS and track progress towards reaching the agreed target. It also illustrates differences between different industrial sectors and aviation, including by highlighting differences in progress.
European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) data from EUTL