Emissions trading

Your expert for questions

Michael H. Küper
Head of Energy Law for Industry at PwC Germany
Tel: +49 211 981-5396

How to make the best possible preparation for CO2 trading and CO2 pricing systems

Pricing is one of the most important levers for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2021, the fourth trading period for the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) will begin. Tighter guidelines are leading to a further increase in the price of certificates. In addition, all sectors in Germany that are not covered by the European ETS will be subject to a national approach to CO2 emissions pricing from January 1, 2021.

As a result, the affected companies will face additional costs. This makes it even more important to develop a strategy for the environment, climate and sustainability, and to implement the related measures in time. Companies should also gather a comprehensive overview of any rules for potential exemptions or possibilities for funding that may work in their favor – because there is also an increasing range of these opportunities available in the context of emissions trading at the national and European level.

"The emissions trading systems in Germany and Europe make an important contribution to CO2 reduction and are drive forward the sustainable development of the economy. For companies, emissions trading presents a burden and also opens up new opportunities. Businesses should find the best possible ways to tap into these opportunities in the future."

Michael H. Küper, Head of Energy Law for Industry at PwC Germany

Emissions trading as a burden and an opportunity for companies

Emitters and fuel suppliers will face the following challenges:

  • Further price increases for certificates in the European ETS.
  • Stricter legal guidelines in the fourth trading period of the European ETS.
  • The introduction of the fuel emissions trading system in Germany from January 1, 2021, following the guidelines in the German Fuel Emissions Trading Act (Brennstoffemissionshandelsgesetz – BEHG).

In this context, it will be decisive for companies to avoid conflict between their focus on sustainability and their efforts to maintain their competitive position.

Your situation

How to increase sustainability while maintaining your competitive position

Companies that participate in emissions trading need to answer several key questions:

  • To what extent is my company affected by these two emissions trading systems (the European ETS and the German emissions trading system)?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each system?
  • What privileges can my company access within the European or German national emissions trading systems?
  • What are the available options for reducing my greenhouse gas emissions?
  • Is it possible to switch from the European ETS into the German national emissions trading system, or the other way around – and would a switch make sense?

Our services

How you can optimize your participation in emissions trading

The legal experts at PwC offer the following services to support you in answering these questions, and any others that your company faces:

  • Consultancy about the implementation of laws and obligations in the European and German national emissions trading systems.
  • Support with claiming privileges from the European and German national emissions trading systems (e.g. free allocations, financial compensation possibilities, claiming exemptions).
  • Identifying the optimal trading system (European ETS or German national emissions trading system) for a company and supporting a potential switch from one system to the other.
  • Legal support for (international) climate protection projects that aim to reduce energy consumption and emissions.
  • Legal support for identifying and implementing climate-friendly and sustainable projects (e.g. Carbon Capture and Storage or Carbon Capture and Utilization technologies, green or blue hydrogen, Power Purchase Agreements).

Our promise

You can count on us

The European and German national emissions trading systems create a burden for companies – and also open up new opportunities. We support you in understanding both systems, while also achieving business success by operating in an environmentally and socially responsible way. This enables companies to tap into a significant competitive advantage. Our interdisciplinary team includes lawyers, economists and engineers.

Contact us

Michael Küper

Michael Küper

Partner, Lawyer, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 211 981-5396

Dr. Daniel Callejon

Dr. Daniel Callejon

Senior Manager, Lawyer, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 211 981-2194

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