The European Union’s (EU’s) Emissions Trading System (ETS) is a cornerstone of the EU’s efforts to meet its obligation under the Kyoto Protocol. It covers more than 11,500 energy intensive facilities across the 25 EU member countries, including oil refineries, power plants over 20 megawatts (MW) in capacity, coke ovens, and iron and steel plants, along with cement, glass, lime, brick, ceramics, and pulp and paper installations. Covered entities emit about 45% of the EU’s carbon dioxide emissions. The trading program does not cover emissions of non-CO2 greenhouse gases, which account for about 20% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions. A final consideration for the ETS is its suitability for directing long-term investment toward a low-carbon future — the ultimate goal of any climate change program.
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