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Introducing “The ETS Files”

There is something zombie-like about the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), the world's largest carbon market, which has consistently failed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, only to be brought back from the dead by successive “reform” proposals. The latest attempt to reincarnate the EU's flagship climate policy, proposed by the European Commission last July, would extend the scheme until at least 2030.

The ETS Files will follow the progress of emissions trading reforms, which will work their way through the European Parliament this year ahead of final approval in 2017. We will focus on how big polluters (including fossil fuel companies, cement and steel producers) lobby to ensure that the EU’s main climate policy serves their interests, and allows them to profit, rather than setting us on a path to a cleaner future.

The last major revision of the ETS saw the European Parliament lead on the issue, Avril Doyle, “besieged” with lobbyists. She counted approaches from 168 different lobby groups – the vast majority representing corporate interests. There appears to be similar interest this time around.

The ETS Files will take a regular look at how polluters’ profits take centre stage in climate policy debates – a form of “corporate capture” that starts with the choice of emissions trading as the main policy to address climate change. It will identify the key corporate actors and the influence they hold, as well as debunking some of the main myths concerning emissions trading. We’ll try to explain some of the key issues at stake in the revision of the Emissions Trading directive, drawing out the links with other EU climate policies. And we’ll look at the prospects for “life beyond emissions” trading.

We hope you'll join us on this journey. And if you hear a lobby story that needs to be told, drop us an email at ceo@corporateeurope.org .

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The European Parliament voted on the reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) on 15 February, agreeing to weak annual climate targets and massive new handouts to polluters for another decade.

Subsidies raised through the Emissions Trading System, the EU’s flagship policy to reduce climate change, could be the key to ensuring that two new coal-fired power stations are built in Greece, according to a recent report in The Guardian newspaper. Wait - what!?

The International Civil Aviation Organization is expected to agree a new climate deal at its current assembly meeting. But its promise of “carbon neutral” flying through voluntary carbon offsetting is delusive, posing new threats to the environment and communities.

A new report on carbon market reform has kicked off debate on the issue in the European Parliament. It promises new loopholes for the oil industry and other polluters.

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