Structure of the emission trading schemes and the registry systems

Since the summer of 2012, the decentralised registry architecture of the European emissions trading was fundamentally changed. Until then, the registry tasks had been performed by the EU Member States in nationally developed and maintained registry systems. An EU-wide standardisation and centralisation of the registry systems had been carried out in the summer of 2012 with the introduction of the Consolidated System of European Registries (CSEUR). The management of the user accounts still remained however with the Member States.

From the viewpoint of the International Transaction Log (ITL) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) the CSEUR consists of the Kyoto registries of the EU Member States and the one of the European Union (the Union Registry - UR).

Structure of the emission trading schemes and the registry systems

 

  • The Consolidated System of European Registries, in short CSEUR, groups all national registries of the EU Member States as well as the national registries of Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland in a single central software system.

    The legal framework of the CSEUR is the registry regulation. This regulation comprehends the specifications of the technical design of the CSEUR-software, as well as the rules on reporting, accounts, transactions, security,...

    The technical management (software and hosting) of the CSEUR is being done by the European Commission; the user and account management in the national parts of the CSEUR is done by the respective Member States. It are hence the Member States themselves who are opening the accounts, verifying the requested documentation and who are in direct contact with the end users.

    In Belgium the FPS Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment has been designated registry administrator of the Belgian national registry.

  • Each national register has its own access point to the CSEUR.

    Although hardly visible to the end users, each national registry consists of two parts: one part under the European Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and one part under the Kyoto Protocol (KP). This distinction can only be seen by the end users via the account numbers. Accounts starting with EU-... (ex. EU-100-12345-0-67) are located in the EU part of the CSEUR, while accounts starting with BE-... (ex. BE-100-1-0-11) are located in the Belgian KP part of the CSEUR.

    The EU part of the registry ensures that all installations and aircraft operators within the EU ETS effectively fulfill their obligations under the EU ETS through the yearly compliance cycle.

    The KP part of the registry ensures that the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol are achieving their emission reduction objectives. This part of the registry holds amongst others the national accounts (BE-100-...) under the Kyoto Protocol and the person holding accounts (BE-121-...) that existed already before the centralization towards the CSEUR. These accounts cannot hold any European allowances (general nor aviation allowances)!

    International (Kyoto) credits, such as CERs or ERUs, may be held on accounts in the EU part as well as on accounts in the Kyoto part of the CSEUR.

  • All processes and transactions under the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) are performed in the EU part of the CSEUR, the Union Registry, in short UR. The UR contains amongst others the operator holding accounts, aircraft operator holding accounts, trading accounts and person holding accounts within the EU ETS. The account identifier of these different account types always starts with EU-100...

    European emission allowances (general allowances or aviation allowances) can only be held on accounts in the UR.

  • Compliance with the rules of the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is checked by the European Transaction Log (EUTL). The EUTL is responsible for the supervision of all EU ETS-related transactions and processes. EU ETS-specific processes, such as transactions with European allowances, are only checked by the EUTL. In case of transactions with international credits, the first check is done by the ITL (see further). An additional check is than performed afterwards by the EUTL once the ITL forwarded the transaction.

    A lot of publicly available information, such as the allocation to and the compliance by operators and aircraft operators, as well as their international credit entitlement, an overview of historic transactions (at least 3 years old),... is published on the public website of the EUTL (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ets/welcome.do).

  • The CSEUR is part of an international Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). It is connected with other KP registries via the International Transaction Log (ITL). The ITL is operated by the UNFCCC based on the Data Exchange Standards (DES) for Registry Systems under the Kyoto Protocol. Any transaction of international credit is checked by the ITL to ensure its compliance with the DES. In case of transactions from or towards a European registry, the ITL will forward the transaction request as well to the EUTL. The EUTL will than on its turn check whether the transaction is in line with the rules under the EU ETS.

  • The CDM-registry is also part of the international emission trading scheme. This registry is run by the UNFCCC (as is the ITL). It is used to issue certified emission reduction credits, in short CER, from Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects.

    Apart from a few exceptions, transactions from the CDM registry can only be made towards accounts in other national KP registries (not the other way around).