The new National Allocation Plans (NAPs) – Lessons learned?
EU Member States have until the end of June 2006 to submit their National Allocation Plans (NAPs) to the European Commission. These plans are a decisive element of the preparation for the second phase (2008-2012) of EU Emissions Trading Scheme and thus a cornerstone of European climate policy. Currently, the Member States are hurriedly preparing their respective Plans. Again, as with the preparation of the first NAPs, some fundamental questions are raised, for example regarding allocation methods for emissions certificates, the emission caps, and the installations covered by the Scheme. But in contrast to 2004, when the NAPs for the first trading period (2005-2007) were drafted, this time the Member States can draw upon some experiences.
The Climate Talk on 11 April 2006 focused on determining what regulations and which changes can be expected in comparison to the 1st NAPs, and where this will lead. Only an hour after Germanys Environmental Minister Gabriel for the first time made the most important corner stones of the new NAP-Draft public during a press conference, Helen Lückge (Ecologic) introduced the most important policies and procedures of the new German NAP to the participants of the Climate Talk. Dr. Felix Christian Matthes (Öko-Institut) commented. Last but not least, Lynn Sheppard (British Embassy) presented the current draft of the .
In the ensuing discussion, many controversial questions were raised. Some of those referred to issues such as the emission caps and the adequate incentives. Furthermore, the fact that a part of the necessary emission reduction burden seems to be simply postponed to future periods or shifted to other sectors like household and traffic raised serious concerns. The utilization of benchmarks as an allocation method was generally supported by the participants, though recognized to be technically difficult. The expansion of emissions trading into other areas – such as air traffic – also triggered an animated discussion. In this regard, the UK already positioned itself as a supporter of the inclusion of aviation into the European Emissions Trading Scheme. In general, the participants supported the notion that the German NAP will have an especially ambitious cap for the energy sector.
The animated discussion was eventually moved to a nearby location, where the evening drew to a relaxed close.