Meeting of the Joint Committee on the linking of the emissions trading systems

Brussels, 5.12.2019 – The second meeting of the Joint Committee on the linking of the emissions trading systems was held in Brussels on 5 December 2019. The Joint Committee adopted amendments to the Annexes to the Agreement, which will take effect on the date of entry into force of the Agreement.

Switzerland and the EU plan to link their respective emissions trading systems (ETS) from 1 January 2020. To this end, an Agreement was signed with the EU on 23 November 2017. To implement the Agreement in Switzerland, the Swiss Parliament adopted amendments to the CO2 Act on 22 March 2019, and the Federal Council approved amendments to the CO2 Ordinance on 13 November 2019. The amendments enter into force on 1 January 2020. From 2020, civil aviation and fossil fuel thermal power plants will be included in the Swiss ETS, as is the case in the EU.

A Joint Committee is appointed to administer the Agreement. It may in particular decide on amendments to the Annexes. Based on a provisional application, the Joint Committee can prepare the implementation of the Agreement as from its date of signature. The first meeting to constitute the Joint Committee was held on 25 January 2019 in Zurich.

At its second meeting on 5 December 2019 in Brussels, the Joint Committee adopted amendments to the Annexes I and II to the Agreement, which will take effect once it enters into force. Annex I to the Agreement defines essential criteria for the ETS of Switzerland and the EU for the inclusion of stationary installations and aircraft operators, the emissions trading registries and auctions of emission allowances; Annex II defines technical standards for linking the registries. The amendments are necessary to update the references to Swiss and EU legislation and to reflect the relevant changes in the legislation of each. In this way compatibility of the two ETS is ensured.

Due to time constraints, a provisional solution to operationalise the link between the registries was agreed. It will be in place by May 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter and will enable the transfer of emission allowances between the registries on specific dates. Early notice of the dates will be given to the market participants; but transfers should be possible at least once a month. The permanent solution, which will allow transfers without time restrictions, will come into operation as soon as feasible.

The Agreement should be ratified by both parties by the end of the year, so that it can enter into force on 1 January 2020.

The total revision of the CO2 Act for 2021–2030 is currently being debated in Parliament. A further revision of the Annexes to the Agreement will thus be necessary for the period after 2020, to further ensure the compatibility of the Swiss and EU ETS.

The Joint Committee meeting was chaired by Marc Chardonnens, Director of the Federal Office for the Environment. The EU delegation was led by Beatriz Yordi, Director at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Climate Action.

Last modification 25.10.2021

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