The Court of First Instance (CFI) has annulled a European Commission (Commission) decision that a Dutch emissions trading scheme for nitrogen oxides constitutes State aid. In order to comply with EC emissions legislation, Member States need to meet a national emission ceiling for nitrogen oxides by 2010. The Netherlands introduced an emissions trading scheme whereby credits were given free of charge to undertakings operating below the set emission standards, while those operating above could avoid fines by buying credits on the open market. The Commission held that this amounted to State aid as the Dutch government was foregoing revenue by giving away credits to a certain group of undertakings and allowing them to be traded when it could have charged for them itself. The CFI agreed that the scheme did constitute an advantage to the undertakings through State resources. However, the scheme did not amount to State aid as all undertakings in the Netherlands were subject to the emissions ceiling and therefore able to benefit from the trading of allowances. The scheme was not selectively targeting particular undertakings in a manner that would constitute State aid.
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Dutch emissions trading scheme does not constitute State aid
- Nabarro LLP
- Cyrus Mehta, Rachel Bickler
- European Union
- May 20 2008
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