Emissions trading: a key component of climate action

Setting the course in the EU now

At the United Nations negotiations on ambitious global climate action, due to commence in the Egyptian city of Sharm El-Sheikh on Sunday, 6 November 2022, one mechanism should not be overlooked, namely emissions trading. How has this evolved in the EU, what successes has it achieved, and which course should the European Union now set for more climate action in the sectors covered by EU emissions trading? This topic is discussed in the latest Oeko-Institut podcast, released today.

“Emissions trading has contributed to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from European power generation facilities and industry between 2005 and 2020,” says Verena Graichen, an EU emissions trading expert and one of the “Wenden bitte!” podcast guests. “But it is not a panacea – quite the contrary: other complementary measures are needed to reach the target of net zero by 2050. They include the expansion of renewable energies, more resource and energy efficiency, and the use of other breakthrough technologies such as green hydrogen.”

“Klimaschutz durch Emissionshandel?” – “Protecting the climate with emissions trading?”: Oeko-Institut podcast (in German)

The podcast audio is in German; an English translation of the exchange is here.

Emissions trading in the EU trilogue

The EU member states are currently holding discussions with the European Parliament and the Commission on the further development of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) as part of the Fit for 55 package. The debate focuses on a more ambitious cap on permissible emissions in the ETS sectors, protection for EU industry against international competition, the extension of the EU ETS to maritime transport, and the alignment of the Market Stability Reserve, whose purpose is to balance supply and demand in relation to emissions allowances.

“With regard to protection against competition, the European Commission has proposed a new instrument, the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, or CBAM for short,” Verena Graichen continues. “The free allocation of allowances for industry will be progressively reduced and instead, a carbon price will be levied on imports into the EU in order to account for the emissions produced during their manufacture abroad.”

Knowledge rather than everyday advice

The Oeko-Institut’s German-language podcast “Wenden bitte!” – “All change please!” is aimed at listeners from politics, science, the media, NGOs and the general public – anyone with an interest in political and environmental issues. Co-presenters of the podcast are Nadine Kreutzer, journalist and presenter, and Mandy Schossig, Head of Public Relations & Communications at the Oeko-Institut. For about an hour – enough time for the “long haul of environmental podcasts” – they talk with one of the Oeko-Institut’s experts about upcoming transformations towards sustainability.

Episode 8: “Klimaschutz durch Emissionshandel? – Protecting the climate with emissions trading?” with Verena Graichen, released 27 October 2022

Episode 7: “Wie gelingt die Wärmewende?” “How will we make the heat transition a success?” with Dr Veit Bürger, released 22 September 2022

Episode 6: “Wie nachhaltig sind Elektroautos?” “How sustainable are electric cars?” with Dr Matthias Buchert, released 18 August 2022

Episode 5: “Wie viel Fleisch wollen wir morgen noch essen?” – “How much meat do we still want to eat in future?” with Dr Jenny Teufel, released 7 July 2022

Episode 4: “Klimaneutral durch CO2-Kompensation?” “Climate neutral through CO2 compensation?” with Dr Lambert Schneider, released 25 May 2022

Episode 3: “Kann der Onlinehandel nachhaltig sein?” “Can online retailing be sustainable?” with Dr Nele Kampffmeyer, released 14 April 2022

Episode 2: “Brauchen wir die Kernenergie für den Klimaschutz?” “Do we need nuclear power to protect the climate?” with Dr Christoph Pistner, released 10 March 2022

Episode 1: “Wie viel Klimaschutz kann die EU?” “How much climate action can the EU take?” with Sabine Gores, released 28 January 2022

Season 1 (2021)

Episode 1: “Warum ist Wasserstoff der Champagner der Energiewende?” – “Why is hydrogen the champagne of the energy transition?” with Dr Felix Chr. Matthes, released 8 April 2021

Episode 2: “Wie geht es mit dem Flugverkehr nach Corona weiter?” – “What will become of air travel after the coronavirus?” with Jakob Graichen, released 21 May 2021

Episode 3: “Was bringt die Bürgerbeteiligung bei der Endlagersuche?” – “What use is public participation in the search for a final nuclear repository?” with Julia Mareike Neles, released 1 July 2021

Episode 4: “Wie verlängern wir das Leben unserer Elektrogeräte?” – “How can we prolong the life of our electrical equipment?” with Siddharth Prakash, released 5 August 2021

Episode 5: “Wie sozial kann die Energiewende sein?” – “How social can the energy transition be?” with Dr Katja Schumacher, released 23 September 2021

Episode 6: “Was bringen internationale Klimaverhandlungen?” – “What use are international climate negotiations?” with Anke Herold, released 28 October 2021

The podcast is available on all the usual podcast portals – such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify