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Climate Action

Consultation on the functioning of the Auctioning Regulation pursuant to the scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowances trading within the Community (EU ETS).


Opening date

Target audience

Please find information in Target group(s) section.

Why we are consulting


Consultation on the functioning of the Auctioning Regulation pursuant to the scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowances trading within the Community (EU ETS).

Policy field(s)

Climate Action

Target group(s)

Public authorities, all companies covered by the EU ETS, as well as all physical and legal persons active in the EU primary and secondary markets for emission allowances and their derivatives are welcome to contribute to this consultation.

Period of consultation

22/12/2015 to 15/03/2016

Objective of the consultation

Auctioning is the default method of allocating allowances within the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS, established by Directive 2003/87/EC). This means that the majority of allowances are brought into circulation by auctioning and businesses have to buy an increasing proportion of allowances through auctions or in the secondary market. Auctioning is the most transparent allocation method and puts into practice the principle that the polluter should pay with no distortion in the markets.

Following a detailed consultation in 2009and an in-depth Impact Assessmentof several options, the modalities for conducting auctions of allowances (constituting the primary market of the EU ETS) were established through the Auctioning Regulation (Regulation EU 1031/2010) in 2010 (Regulation on the timing, administration and other aspects of auctioning of greenhouse gas emission allowances pursuant to the EU Emission Trading System). The Auctioning Regulation was amended in 2011 to determine the volume of greenhouse gas emission allowances to be auctioned prior to 2013, in 2013 to improve certain technical aspects concerning procurement procedures for appointing auction platforms and the auction monitor, and the holding of auctions, and otherwise only to list the auction platforms appointed to conduct the auctions and to incorporate the Backloading Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 176/2014).

Europe's carbon market was the first cap-and-trade system in the world to put in place large-scale auctioning as of 2012. In no other existing carbon market have as many allowances, covering such a large proportion of the total allowances issued, been put in circulation via auctioning as in the EU ETS. To date over 700 auctions for over 2 billion EU ETS emission allowances (hereafter "allowances" this reference also includes allowances for aviation) having taken place without any noticeable distortion or malfunctioning, proving that the infrastructure established is performing well.

Further amendments of the Auctioning Regulation are required to make adjustments to certain modalities stemming from the forthcoming introduction of the Market Stability Reserve (MSR) (Decision EU 1814/2015). This consultation addresses two objectives. Firstly, it aims to collect stakeholders’ views on the changes to the Auctioning Regulation directly related to the technical aspects of implementation of the MSR (Decision EU 1814/2015). In addition, this consultation contains questions that allow stakeholders to share their views on the functioning of the Auctioning Regulation in order to assess the extent to which the more than 700 auctions of allowances executed to date have been implemented effectively and efficiently and to identify any potential areas for further technical improvements. The functioning of the ETS Directive was the subject of a recent consultation (Consultation on revision of the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) Directive, carried out 19/12/2014 - 16/03/2015). In order to avoid overlap, the scope of this consultation is limited to those aspects directly related to the implementation of auctions for emissions allowances covered in the Auctioning Regulation.

How to submit your contribution

In the interests of transparency, the Commission asks organisations who wish to submit comments in the context of public consultations to provide the Commission and the public at large with information about whom and what they represent by registering in the Transparency Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If an organisation decides not to provide this information, it is the Commission's stated policy to list the contribution as part of the individual contributions. (Consultation Standards, see COM (2002) 704, and Communication on ETI Follow-up, see COM (2007) 127 of 21/03/2007)

If your organisation is not registered, you have the opportunity to Register now.

Received contributions will be published on the Internet. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

View the questionnaire
Contact details

Responsible service: Directorate-General Climate Action - Unit B1


Postal address:

European Commission
Directorate-General Climate Action
BU24 2/69 B-1049 Bruxelles
View the contributions
Results of consultation and next steps


Protection of personal dataSpecific privacy statement

Respond to the consultation

The response period for this consultation has ended. Thank you for your input.