The Green Tank and the Energy Planning & Sustainable Development Group of the National Observatory of Athens (IERSD/NOA) co-organised an online panel discussion entitled ‘Quo Vadis ETS?’ (‘Where are you going ETS’) on the revision of the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) in the framework of the Fit for 55 legislative package.

The discussion took place on 14 March 2022.

In the introductory remarks on behalf of the organisers, Ioli Christopoulou, policy director of The Green Tank, said that this debate was significant not only due to the current situation with the war in Ukraine but also due to the negotiations around the revision of the EU ETS that are in full swing, with the final proposals of the European institutions expected in the coming months. She further noted that the purpose of the revision is the ETS’s adjustment to the new European climate targets as the ETS lies at the core of the EU’s energy and climate policy.

For her part, Elena Georgopoulou, principal researcher at IERSD/NOA and member of the Energy Planning & Sustainable Development Group, stressed the importance of the ETS for the EU’s binding target for a 55% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and zero emissions by 2050 compared with 1990. She also underlined the need for an immediate implementation of emission reductions so as to safeguard the possibility to contain the global temperature rise to 1.5°C, given that this window of opportunity might close very soon. This is what the recently released Sixth Impact Assessment and Adaptation Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) clearly indicated.

The introductory remarks followed presentations from invited speakers. Dimitris Lalas, external associate at IERSD/NOA and FACE3TS, referred to the impact of the ETS on Europe and Greece from 2005 to date. Nikos Mantzaris, senior policy analyst at the Green Tank, presented the proposals of the European Commission and the European Parliament on the ETS revision, providing critical comments and suggestions.

Petros Varelidis, secretary general for the natural environment and water at Greece’s Ministry of Environment and Energy, outlined Greece’s positions in the negotiations on the ETS revision. Yannis Paniaras, who represents the Greek Federation of Enterprises (SEV) and is a member of the National Scientific Committee on Climate, analysed the positions of the Greek business sector on the ETS revision and the climate targets.

In the second part of the discussion, event participants that included representatives of political parties, and the industry, energy and shipping sectors engaged in an exchange of views and recommendations on the future of European and Greek policy on ETS.

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