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EU Emissions Trading Scheme’s new targets: transport and buildings, and border charging mechanism


The European Parliament recently made available a briefing on the von der Leyen Commission's six priorities, providing an assessment on the state of play in autumn 2020. It looks at achievements, crisis and possible ways to go for the Commission in the light of the upcoming State of the Union discourse by the Commission’s first person on 16 September 2020.


The briefing is a good reading as a whole but let us focus on one particular aspect in the light of other ongoing legislative moves by the EU institutions, which all seem to point into the same direction. The consideration should be made by all business actors and not only Europeans.


What we already know:

  • The ETS border charging mechanism is considered as a new own resource (i.e. tax) for the European Union. Similar to the new digital tax and the financial transaction tax. 

  • The introduction of the “new own resources” is planned as of January 2023. This means adoption and introduction plus eventual implementation at national level must come before that date. 

  • As part of the Green Deal, the European Climate Pact is expected to be launched in Q4 2020. 

  • Still in September, the Commission planes to adopt new climate targets (up from 40 to 55% emission reduction...) and the pricing of carbon is a central element to this. 

  • Emissions trading system would be extended to the maritime sector, and the free allowances allocated to airlines would be reduced over time.

  • The Commission also plans to investigate the possibility of further extending the ETS to road transport and buildings.

  • The revision of the EC framework LEVELs is ongoing, expect new guidelines by October the latest.

  • There is a public consultation open right now on environmental footprints for products organisations. 

It is likely that before the end of 2020, we will have a new draft on the ETS border charging mechanism. We also expect stakeholder engagement as part of the process.

Companies interested in construction, isolation, wiring in general for buildings should keep an eye out because the opportunities will come for those that are well-prepared and are sound sustainable perspective. The revision of the green public procurement rules (to come before the end of this year) will also likely introduce new requirements and rewards for those involved in the game on either side of the contract.

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