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Model answers: Studies reveal EU must revamp Emissions Trading System to live within its carbon budget

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest report underscores the urgency of the climate crisis: the effects of the climate breakdown are already being felt around the world, and will only become more destructive in the coming decades. Humanity is rapidly running out of time to keep planetary heating limited to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C target. 

With just seven years left on the Climate Clock, the ongoing revision of the European Union’s climate policy framework offers an eleventh-hour opportunity for the EU to do its part as one of the world’s major emitters and go beyond its 55% reduction target for 2030.

However, the research we commissioned reveals that, despite its soaring climate rhetoric and trailblazing policy instruments, the EU is failing to rise to this historic challenge by massively lowering its emissions. However, all is not lost. Policymakers still have the chance to raise the ambition of Europe’s climate goals and revamp the EU’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and make it a truly effective policy tool.

This policy briefing analyses the results of two studies which show that not only is the proposed reform of the EU ETS inadequate to bring down emissions to sustainable levels but there is also a strong chance that the system will fail to meet its own unambitious targets.

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