Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

EU Emissions Trading System: Who is affected

Who is affected by the EU ETS

The European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) affects installations in industrial sectors which produce significant quantities of greenhouse gases, such as:

  • power stations
  • refineries
  • offshore - eg oil refineries
  • iron and steel production
  • cement and lime manufacturing
  • paper manufacturing
  • food and drink processing
  • glass production
  • ceramics production
  • engineering
  • vehicle manufacturing.

Other organisations may also be covered by the EU ETS, including universities and hospitals.

SEPA: Participating in the EU ETS

DAERA: The EU Emissions Trading Scheme

Businesses affected by the regulations are those that carry out activities listed in Annex 1 of the EU ETS Directive

Businesses affected in the future

From 2012, aviation has been included in the EU ETS. For existing aircraft operators there is a requirement to monitor and report emissions.

From 2013, the EU ETS has been expanded to cover a number of other industry sectors including:

  • production of bulk organic chemicals
  • production of hydrogen
  • production of ammonia
  • production of aluminium
  • production of nitric, adipic and glyoxylic acid
  • capture, transport and geological storage of carbon dioxide emissions.

The EU ETS will also be extended to include other greenhouse gases - such as perfluorocarbons and nitrous oxide - for some industry sectors.

During this time, the revised EU ETS Directive will also provide for:

  • a centralised EU-wide cap on emissions
  • an increase in auctioning levels with 100 per cent auctioning to the power sector in the UK
  • a non-legally binding commitment from EU member states to spend at least half of their auctioning revenues to work on climate change
  • free allocated allowances to those industrial sectors based on product benchmarks
  • sectors that are at risk of relocating outside of the EU due to the carbon price to receive 100 per cent of the benchmarked allocation for no cost
  • sectors not at risk received 80 per cent of their benchmarked allocation at no charge in 2013, reduced to 30 per cent in 2020 and 0 per cent in 2027.

Further information


DAERA: The EU Emissions Trading Scheme

Scottish Government: EU Emissions Trading Scheme

In this Guideline

What is emissions trading?

EU Emissions Trading System: Who is affected

EU Emissions Trading System: How to comply

EU Emissions Trading System: Trading allowances

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