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Enforcement of the EU ETS in the Member States

Jonathan Verschuuren and Floor Fleurke

elni Review 2015, pp. 17-23. https://doi.org/10.46850/elni.2015.003

Although the EU ETS has been operating in three trading periods for ten years and has been extensively covered by legal research, there has been remarkably little attention given to the enforcement of the ETS. Although, generally, we have seen an increasing centralization of the EU ETS, monitoring and enforcement are still largely in the hands of the emissions authorities in the states in which the EU ETS operates: 28 EU Member States plus Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. This article reports on the main findings of an ex-post evaluation of the legal implementation of the EU ETS at Member State level with a focus on compliance. The central research question was: Has the effectiveness of the compliance mechanism of the EU ETS improved in the third period (2013-2020)? What further improvements (if any) are necessary? To answer this question, the authors of this article have described the relevant EU law in each of the three periods, reviewed previous evaluations and relevant research projects, and evaluated the implementation of the EU ETS in selected Member States, both through existing sources and through interviews with key players in the compliance mechanism at Member State level. The Member States that the authors studied for the latter part of the project were Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary, Greece, Poland and the UK.

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