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State Aid

State Aid: New guidelines on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme adopted



The EFTA Surveillance Authority has adopted new guidelines for the assessment of state aid in the context of the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme.

According to the guidelines, EEA EFTA states may compensate certain electricity-intensive users for part of the higher electricity costs expected to result from changes to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) as from 2013. The sectors deemed eligible for compensation include producers of aluminium, copper, fertilisers, steel, paper, cotton, chemicals and some plastics.

Based on official Eurostat data collected from EU Member States and input from public consultations, sectors deemed to be at a significant risk of “carbon leakage” have been identified. Carbon leakage occurs when there is an increase in global CO2 emissions as a result of companies in the EEA shifting production outside the EEA due to the fact that they cannot pass on to their customers cost increases resulting from the ETS without a significant loss of market share to third country competitors.

The new rules carefully balance several key objectives. They aim to mitigate the impact of indirect CO2 costs for the most vulnerable industries, thereby preventing carbon leakage which would undermine the effectiveness of the ETS. At the same time, the new rules have been designed to ensure that national support measures respect the EEA objective of decarbonising the European economy and maintain a level playing field among EEA competitors.

The rules also allow support to be given to the construction of new highly efficient power plants which implement environmentally safe capture and geological storage of CO2 (CCS-ready) by 2020.

The State Aid Guidelines can be consulted on the Authority's website.


For further information, please contact:

Mr. Trygve Mellvang-Berg,
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
gsm (+32)(0)492 900 187

Other EEA Institutions

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