An EU Directive establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC – relating to integrated pollution prevention and control – is being finalised.
In prospect of the formal adoption of the directive, the Government has decided that the EPA will be responsible for implementing the directive in Ireland. The agency is to be designated as the National Allocation Authority to design and implement, by 31 March 2004, a national allocation plan, in accordance with the requirements of the directive, which will determine the amount of greenhouse gas allowances to be allocated to each participating installation. In the development of the plan, the agency will be assisted by a national allocation advisory group, under an independent chairperson, and comprising the chief executives, or senior nominees, of Forfás, Sustainable Energy Ireland, the National Treasury Management Agency and the Commission for Energy Regulation.
The total quantity of allowances to be allocated to the installations engaged in emissions trading in the period 2008-12 must be consistent with achieving our obligations under the Kyoto Protocol to limit annual emissions in this period to 13% above 1990 levels. The Government has decided to engage consultants to advise it on the most economically efficient apportionment of the national target between those inside and outside trading, and derived from this, the quantity to be allocated to the trading system in the pilot phase, 2005-07. The allocation for this period must take account of the progressive reductions of emissions required towards achievement of the national Kyoto obligation while also recognising the "learning by doing" nature of the pilot phase.