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Commission rules out SOx/NOx trading scheme


Since 2007 DG Environment has been investigating the possibility of introducing a SOx/NOx Emissions Trading Scheme. This scheme would have presumably operated in a similar manner to the current CO2 scheme. Following the publishing of a number of reports in December 2010 on the issue, the Commission has decided not to pursue a trading scheme for the following reasons;

  • The Industrial Emissions Directive will require industry to make investment decisions regarding BAT compliance for SOx/NOx emissions abatement and a trading scheme would bring uncertainty and possible delays.
  • Local improvements in emission limit values and ambient air quality might be jeopardised.

A country specific or EU based Emissions Trading Scheme works best when the pollutants concerned do not generally have localised impacts, as is the case with CO2. A good decision by the Commission.