Swiss emissions trading scheme
Large, energy-intensive companies are required to participate in emissions trading, while medium-sized companies may voluntarily participate in the emissions trading scheme (ETS).
The ETS is based on the cap and trade principle, which means that it predetermines a limit or "cap" on the quantity of available emission allowances. This cap is lowered every year. Emission allowances are issued every year to the companies participating in the ETS (ETS companies) and can be traded.
ETS companies are exempt from the CO2 tax.
Participation in the emissions trading scheme and registration deadlines
Large emitters are required to participate in the ETS, while medium-sized companies may voluntarily participate in it. In general, mandatory participation starts at 20 MW of installed capacity and voluntary participation at 10 MW.
ETS caps and reduction path
The FOEN predetermines the quantity of available emission allowances based on a cap. This cap is lowered every year.
Emission allowances issued for free (benchmark approach)
Only the quantity of emission allowances required for CO2-efficient operations are issued for free to companies participating in the emissions ETS. This quantity is calculated on the basis of benchmarks.
Emission allowance auctions
Emission allowances that are not issued for free are auctioned off by the FOEN or an authorised organisation. Auctions are normally carried out several times a year.
Monitoring by companies in the emission trading system
Under the CO2 Act, ETS companies must report their emissions annually. These are recorded in a monitoring system. The FOEN may require that the monitoring reports be verified by an independent third party.
Counting foreign certificates
To offset their emissions, ETS companies are allowed to count a limited number of certificates from projects carried out abroad, provided they are issued according to the rules of the Kyoto Protocol and meet specific quality criteria.