The European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS)

The European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) was the first large emissions trading schemes in the world. Launched in 2005 to combat climate change it requires participating organisations to monitor and report their CO2 emissions.

Members of the scheme are given an emissions allocation. At the end of each year they are required to account for their actual emissions. Installations can emit more than their allocation by buying allowances from the market. Similarly, an installation that emits less than its allocation can sell its surplus allowances. The environmental outcome is not affected because the amount of allowances allocated is fixed.

A number of NHS organisations participate in the EU ETS, which has been simplified to make it easier for users to take part.

Primarily large emitters are members of the EU ETS scheme, but more and more NHS organisations are now joining the Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme.

Find out more about the EU ETS on the DECC website