Climate Law in EU Member States
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Climate Law in EU Member States

Towards National Legislation for Climate Protection

Edited by Marjan Peeters, Mark Stallworthy and Javier de Cendra de Larragán

The complex and multifaceted nature of EU climate legislation poses a major challenge for EU member states. This timely book focuses on national climate action, addressing the regulatory responses required for the purposes of meeting greenhouse gas emissions reduction objectives for 2020 (and beyond).
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Chapter 5: EU state aid law and national climate regulation

Stefan Weishaar


This contribution discusses the EU state aid framework in view of national regulatory climate protection measures in order to assess the possibility for member states to introduce domestic measures. In view of the Effort Sharing Decision, member states have to consider which national approaches should be developed in order to address the greenhouse gas emissions of sources outside the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). In doing so, member states need to respect EU state aid law. The focus in this chapter will be on the question whether two specific regulatory instruments, these being a national credit and trade emissions trading scheme and a cost equalization scheme for non EU ETS installations, will be possible given EU state aid law. For each model a concrete practical example will be discussed. For the credit and trade emissions trading approach this is a scheme for NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions that has already been applied in the Netherlands. This model could be considered for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from non EU ETS sources as well. The other example is a cost equalization scheme proposed for agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands. Both systems will be reviewed from the perspective of EU state aid law. State aid legislation constitutes a basic pillar of EU competition policy. State intervention undermines the operation of markets by putting certain undertakings at a comparative advantage over other undertakings and thereby causes damage to competitors throughout the internal market.

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