Seventh round of Swiss-EU negotiations on linking of emissions trading systems

Brussels, 26.3.2015 – The seventh round of negotiations between Switzerland and the European Union on the linking of their emissions trading systems were held in Brussels on 26 March 2015. The inclusion of aviation in the system was also discussed.

Switzerland has been negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the linking of emissions trading systems (ETS, see Box 1) since 2010. Since the last high-level negotiations of 19 September 2014, it has been possible to establish the basic principles for the ETS linking agreement in the areas of aviation, registry, security and auctioning. In addition to the practical cooperation between Switzerland and the EU once the systems are linked, the few outstanding issues relating to aviation, registry and auctioning were discussed.  The questions relating to the inclusion of stationary installations (industry), e.g. factories and production plants, were already largely resolved at the last round of negotiations.

At the seventh round of negotiations both sides confirmed their desire to clarify the remaining issues as quickly as possible and to initial the ETS linking agreement in the first half of 2015.

The EU's negotiating delegation was led by Jos Delbeke, Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Climate Action; Bruno Oberle, Director of the Federal Office for the Environment, headed up the Swiss delegation.

 

Box 1:
Linking of the emissions trading systems


Both Switzerland and the EU operate emissions trading systems (ETS). Under these systems, affected companies are required to forfeit one emission right for every tonne of CO2 emitted. These emission rights can be traded within the respective systems. The aim here is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the companies, in which it can be achieved as cheaply as possible. Switzerland's ETS is based on the CO2 Act, which is largely compatible with the EU ETS.

The linking of the EU and Swiss ETS will guarantee that Swiss companies can buy and sell emission rights in a large liquid market. Among other things, this will minimise potential competition distortions between the Swiss companies involved and their European competitors.

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