24th Sep 2020

EU steps up security of emissions trading system

  • A single registry will replace national ones (Photo: DerGuy82)

EU member states have backed tighter security measures for the EU's emissions trading system (ETS), after cyber-thieves hacked in earlier this year and stole roughly €30 million in carbon credits.

On Friday (17 June) a committee of member state experts opted to support a raft of anti-fraud measures proposed by the European Commission, with the approval of MEPs and national ministers still needed.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

National registries, where carbon permits are traded, ground to a halt for 15 days after a major theft was detected in January, with investor confidence in the ETS low ever since.

A single carbon registry is due to replace the national trading centres early next year, with EU climate chief Connie Hedegaard welcoming the decision on Friday.

"We have certainly strengthened the integrity of the European carbon market. I am grateful for the good cooperation with stakeholders," she said.

The new measures will include 'out-of band' confirmation of transactions, whereby buyers and sellers must confirm transactions over two separate networks such as email and telephone.

A system of higher security "trusted accounts" and greater due diligence measures are also intended to bolster the scheme.

If fraudulent trades are suspected, authorities will be able to respond more rapidly in future, said the commission, for instance by delaying the completion of some transactions and freezing accounts.

The largest of its kind worldwide, the EU's emissions trading scheme is a key pillar of the bloc's efforts to fight climate change.

By placing a price on carbon emissions, policy-makers hope to incentivize businesses to opt for cleaner production methods.

Brussels moves to tackle slumped carbon market

The European Commission on Wednesday announced short-term plans to bolster the carbon Emissions Trading Scheme, its flagship environment project undermined by rock bottom carbon prices.

Higher EU climate target 'economically feasible'

A new report indicates that the EU's plan to reduce the bloc's greenhouse emissions by 55 percent by 2030 is "technically and economically feasible" - with a reform of EU carbon market and "adequate safeguards" for low-income EU countries.

Recovery plan slammed for failing to tackle climate crisis

EU leaders agreed that about a third of the €750bn recovery package and the €1.074 trillion seven-year budget will be invested in projects contributing to climate action. However, environmental activists said that the package falls short on climate safeguards.

News in Brief

  1. German foreign minister in coronavirus quarantine
  2. Report: Roma life expectancy '10 years lower'
  3. US corona death toll passes 200,000
  4. Greece and Turkey agree to resume talks in Istanbul
  5. Seven countries found MidEast energy forum, without Turkey
  6. Four more states join EU medical strategic stockpile
  7. Malta police arrest chief of staff of ex-PM
  8. EP pushing for effective rule-of-law mechanism


The 150 random French citizens advising Macron

Some 150 randomly-picked men and women make up Emmanuel Macron's Citizens' Climate Convention. This week Macron invited them to the Élysée Palace and promised - nearly - all of their wishes would come true .

France shuts oldest reactor amid Macron climate pledges

France's oldest nuclear power plant finally closed on Tuesday, one day after president Emmanuel Macron pledged to speed up the country's transition to a greener economy responding to the proposals from the French citizens' convention on climate.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  3. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID-19 halts the 72nd Session of the Nordic Council in Iceland
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCivil society a key player in integration
  6. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular

Latest News

  1. EU countries stuck on rule of law-budget link
  2. EU states struggle to better sync Covid-19 measures
  3. EP groups drop homophobe from Sakharov prize
  4. Legal complaint filed with EU Commission over migration
  5. Coronavirus: Will a second wave divide Europe again?
  6. Coronavirus: the Swedish model was worth emulating
  7. Time to fix Europe's broken migration and asylum system
  8. Covid-19: How is Eastern Europe bracing for a second wave?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us