European Court of Justice says Commission exceeded its powers by imposing limits on emissions in Poland and Estonia.
The European Court of Justice today ruled that the European Commission exceeded its powers by imposing a ceiling on greenhouse-gas emissions in Poland and Estonia in 2007. The European of First Instance ruled in 2009 that the ceilings should be scrapped. But the Commission appealed against the decision “to protect the integrity of the EU-wide market of allowances.”
Six other countries had also challenged the Commission’s emissions ceilings – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.
The EU’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) requires member states to submit national action plans (NAPs) outlining the total number of carbon allowances they intend to issue during a five-year period, and how they will be allocated.
In 2006, ehen Poland and Estonia submitted their plans for the 2008-12 period, the Commission slashed the countries’ proposed industry emission caps by 26.7% and 47.8% respectively.
But the ECJ ruled that while the Commission has the authority to review the NAPs, it cannot replace the data with information obtained from its own assessment methods; it can only ask member states to resubmit the plans. The Commission accepted revised NAPs with lower caps from Poland and Estonia in 2010. Latvia won a similar case against the Commission in 2011. The remaining cases are still outstanding or have been withdrawn.