The Decision from the Court of First Instance that Destroyed the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme

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The Commission of the European Communities rejected Poland's national allocation plan for the European Union Emission's Trading Scheme. However, the Commission proposed an amount of emission allowances that was less than seventy-five percent of what Poland had requested. Poland refused the Commission's decrease in allowances; instead, Poland went to the Court of First Instance and requested an annulment of the Commission's decision to reject Poland's plan. Contrary to the expectations of commentators, the Court agreed with Poland, finding that the "Commission exceeded its power."

The European Union Court of First Instance's decision to limit the Commission's power could very well be the judgment that destroys the European Union Emission's Trading Scheme. The purpose of this comment is to discuss the Court of First Instance's decision to limit the Commission's power, why that decision was incorrect, the effects of that ruling on the European Union, and potential measures to correct the European Union Emission's Trading Scheme.

Section II will provide background information on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, the European Union Emission's Trading Scheme, and national allocation plans. Section III will discuss the Poland v. Commission, Court of First Instance case. Section IV will discuss the Commission's current authority, the effects of the Court's decision, the Commission's decision to appeal, and potential measures to correct the European Union Emission's Trading Scheme. Finally, section V will conclude by suggesting several actions that could be taken to ensure the integrity and survival of the European Union Emission's Trading Scheme.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Trevor Carson | Attorney Advertising

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