Individual states are expected to take the lead in regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
As global emissions trading systems undergo fundamental changes, understanding the policies and rules around them can alert you to opportunities as well as challenges.
The impacts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continue to be of great concern globally. Innovations have occurred in market-based solutions, technology development and international law, and there are 17 GHG emissions trading schemes that have been established globally, operating in 35 countries, 12 states and seven cities.
These trading schemes present a market-based approach to controlling GHG emissions and mitigating the effects of climate change by limiting the quantity of industrial discharges of GHGs, either through the allocation or purchase of emissions allowances from a central authority or the purchase of emissions credits from market participants. For example, a company that emits more GHGs than its permits allow can buy credits from others willing to sell them. GHG emissions credit units are often known as carbon credits or GHG emission-reduction credits.
With the 2013 – 2020 Kyoto Protocol compliance period coming to an end, meeting intended nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement has opened up new challenges, and the resulting changes are confronting GHG emissions trading globally. These changes include economic dynamics, which have lowered the value of emission-reduction credits and have affected the marketplace, potential political opposition to the policies underlying GHG emissions trading and the rise of cost-effective innovations in fnancing GHG emissions reductions.
This report offers readers an overview of the status of GHG emissions trading schemes in major jurisdictions globally, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, the United Kingdom and the European Union. It illustrates the current status of global GHG emissions trading systems and also offers insights into where the global GHG emissions trading system is headed, alerting readers to potential opportunities and challenges.
Individual states are expected to take the lead in regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
Ontario and Québec lead the way in developing trading schemes.
Implementation of a cap-and-trade program and compliance market is expected by 2021.
EU's trading scheme framework dominates, but Brexit brings uncertainty.
The world’s biggest trading scheme sees proposals intended to stabilize the market and links to Switzerland.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government's and Saitama Prefecture's schemes are connected as Japan considers a national scheme.
Regional trading systems are expected to expand and increase their connections with one another.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government's and Saitama Prefecture's schemes are connected as Japan considers a national scheme
Stay current on your favorite topics
Similar in some ways to regional emissions trading schemes in the US and Canada, Japan has locally connected emissions trading regimes in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Saitama Prefecture. On the national level, although Japan’s Voluntary Emissions Trading Scheme has existed since 2005, after efforts to implement a mandatory national emissions trading system were postponed in December 2010, the stance of Japan’s government has been to carefully consider an emissions trading scheme, evaluating its burden on Japanese industry, associated impacts on employment, developments and effects of emissions trading schemes in other countries, and global warming countermeasures that are already implemented in Japan (e.g., voluntary actions by industry).
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government started the "Mandatory CO2 Reduction and Emissions Trading Program" in April 2010. It requires mandatory reduction of absolute carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and implements a cap-and-trade program by amending the Tokyo Metropolitan Environmental Security Ordinance.
The cap applies to large-scale facilities (buildings and factories) with a total consumption of fuels, heat and electricity of 1,500 kiloliters or larger per year in crude oil-equivalent. These facilities include large CO2 emitters such as office buildings and factories. The program targets only energy-related CO2 in the first stage; other gases will be added sequentially as necessary. The program covers approximately 1,300 facilities in Tokyo including 1,100 business facilities and 200 factories, and it covers approximately 40 percent of the total volume of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by industrial and commercial facilities in Tokyo. The program differs from that of its EU ETS and US RGGI counterparts since it also includes within its scope large-scale office buildings.
The program sets five-year compliance periods and targets for total emissions over each five-year period. The first compliance period covered fiscal year 2010 through fiscal year 2014; the second compliance period covers fiscal year 2015 to fiscal year 2019. Covered facilities in the program must reduce energy-related CO2 emissions (i.e., consumption of fuels, heat and electricity).
During the first compliance period, 8 percent reductions were required for business facilities such as office buildings, and 6 percent reductions were required for industrial facilities such as factories. The percentage of reductions are calculated using base-year emissions, which are the average emissions of three consecutive fiscal years selected between fiscal year 2002 and fiscal year 2007. Total emissions of the covered facilities for the fiscal year 2014 were reduced by 25 percent from base-year emissions, amounting to a 14 million ton reduction in the first compliance period. For the second compliance period, the target has increased to a 17 percent reduction for business facilities and a 15 percent reduction for industrial facilities. Owners of covered facilities must report the previous fiscal year's emissions to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government by the end of November every year.
Emissions trading launched in April 2010, when the registry started to manage emissions trading records. A filing must be made with the registry when acquiring, transferring or using excess reduction or offset credits to fulfill the reduction obligation. Five types of credits—Excess Credits (excess emission reductions), Small and Midsize Facility Credits (emission reductions from small and midsize facilities in Tokyo), Renewable Energy Credits, Outside Tokyo Credits (emission reductions outside Tokyo area) and Saitama Credits—are under the cap-and-trade program. Of those credits, Small and Midsize Facility Credits, Renewable Energy Credits, Outside Tokyo Credits and Saitama Credits are offset credits, which may be used to fulfill obligations under the program.
Looking forward to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government set up a new Environmental Master Plan in 2016 that showcases the environmental policies to be implemented by 2030, which include the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2000 levels.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Saitama Prefecture signed the agreement to connect their emissions trading programs in September 2010. Since April 2011, Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s cap-and-trade system has been connected to a similar reduction scheme in Saitama Prefecture. Excess Credits and Small and Midsize Facilities Credits issued by Saitama Prefecture are tradable under the Tokyo system.
One year after Tokyo, Saitama Prefecture established and started the "Target-Setting Emissions Trading Program," in which the prefecture sets reduction targets of covered facilities and allows them to trade allowances, in accordance with the Saitama Prefecture Global Warming Strategy Promoting Ordinance of April 2011.
The coverage is basically the same as Tokyo's. It covers large-scale facilities (buildings and factories) with total consumption of fuels, heat and electricity of 1,500 kiloliters or more per year in crude oil-equivalent. Approximately 600 facilities are covered.
The first compliance period was a four-year term starting from fiscal year 2011 to fiscal year 2014 and now is in the middle of the five-year second compliance period starting from fiscal year 2015 to fiscal year 2019. For the first compliance period, an 8 percent reduction below base-year emissions was required for business facilities such as office buildings and commercial facilities and a 6 percent reduction was required for industrial facilities such as factories. As for the second compliance period, the target has increased to 15 percent for office buildings and commercial facilities and 13 percent for factories. Unlike the Tokyo scheme, there is no penalty for unachieved facilities.
Six types of credits—Excess Credits (excess emission reductions), Small and Midsize Facility Credits (emission reductions from small and midsize facilities in Saitama), Renewable Energy Credits, Outside Saitama Credits (emission reductions outside Saitama Prefecture), Forest Absorption Credits (credits from forests inside the Saitama Prefecture) and Tokyo Credits—are tradable under the cap-and-trade program. The five credits other than Excess Credits are offset credits to be used to fulfill reduction obligations under the program.
Saitama Prefecture revised its global warming strategy action plan—Stop Global Warming Saitama Navigation 2050—in 2015 and set a target greenhouse gas reduction of 21 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.
Saitama's cap-and-trade program is connected to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's program. Excess Credits from Tokyo Metropolitan Government's emissions trading system and Small and Midsize Facility Credits issued by Tokyo Metropolitan Government are officially eligible as offset credits.
The Kyoto Prefecture has a "Kyoto Verified Emission Reduction" scheme managed by the "Kyoto CO2 Reduction Bank," whose members are Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto City, Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry, The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc., Osaka Gas, Co., Ltd., and four other industry associations and one environmental non-profit organization. It started in October 2011 and offers a unique credit system and emissions trading system. However, it does not impose any reduction obligation on facilities in Kyoto, like Tokyo, or set targeted reduction percentages on facilities in Kyoto, like Saitama, although the Kyoto Prefecture does have a target of 25 percent reduction below fiscal year 1990 levels by the fiscal year 2020.
This publication is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. This publication is protected by copyright.
© 2017 White & Case LLP