Article 9 of the  Emissions Trading Directive establishes that each Member State periodically has to develop a National Allocation Plan (NAP).

These establish the emissions target for the covered sectors, as well as deciding how this target is divided among the various installations covered by the system. The first NAPs for the period 2005-7 had to be published and notified to the Commission and the other Member States by 31 March 2004. The ten new Member States had two months more for the same task. In general, most MS submitted their NAPs after the deadline had passed, the last one (from Greece) only came in December 2004.

All NAPs were then subject to an assessment and approval by the European Commission, which has so far decided on 21 of the 25 plans, with Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic and Greece missing. The current state of the process and most relevant documents can be viewed best at the European Commission’s NAP pages.

NAPs for the period 2008-12 will have to be submitted by the end of June 2006, giving the responsible officials no time to rest. NGOs will again by demanding to be heard in their design and come armed with an assessment of the first round

NGO Views

The success of the Emissions Trading Directive depends critically on the integrity of the national allocation plans. These plans must set targets that produce real emission cuts. They must be in line with each EU country meeting its target under the burden sharing agreement. However, countries which are well below their Kyoto targets, particularly Germany and the UK, should not be allowed to give their industry an “easy ride” for this reason. The process of setting these targets must be, as stated in the Directive, objective, transparent and open to public comment and feedback.

Environmental NGOs have been monitoring the NAP processes all over the EU critically and have sent their comments to their national governments and to the European Commission.