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Division E: Emissions Trading - German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt)
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Director: Dr. Hans Jürgen
Employee of the German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt - UBA) since 1984, i.a. as press officer, head of team advising on basic principles, department head, director of Environmental Planning and Environmental Strategies Department, Director of Department E (emissions trading, German Emissions Trading Authority) since 1.1.2004
The German Emissions Trading Authority (Deutsche Emissionshandelsstelle - DEHSt) at the Federal Environment Agency is the national authority entrusted with the implementation of the market-based climate protection instrument of emissions trading identified in the Kyoto Protocol, and project-based mechanisms Joint Implementation (JI) and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Its mandate covers a broad range of activities defined in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme Directive, the ”Greenhouse gas emission allowance trading law” (Treibhausgas-Emissionshandelsgesetz (TEHG)), two German Allocation Acts (ZuG 2007 and ZuG 2012), and in the Project Mechanisms Act (ProMechG). DEHSt works in close cooperation with German corporate entities whose installations are subject to EU emissions trading and lends support to their respective departments in charge. Furthermore, DEHSt is the contact point for the German Federal Ministry for Environment, the federal states, and the competent immissions protection authorities at the federal state level.
The overarching goal is to use emissions trading as a means to achieve ecological and economic success. It means assuring the ecological integrity of the instrument, competition neutrality and low transaction costs. Therefore, in addition to its primary mandate, DEHSt is a reliable provider of services to companies and businesses participating in European emissions trading, to verifiers, and public offices. DEHSt communicates with its partners mainly electronically, and this concerns the application procedure, the allocation of certificates, account management in the national registry, and annual emissions reporting. In 2006 DEHSt was voted ”best virtual organisation” in the German eGovernment competition for public offices at federal, state, and local levels. It works continuously on the development of emissions trading at the national and international level and on the integration of other international climate protection mechanisms.
The staff are committed to the mission statement of the Federal Environment Agency and have defined their particular mandate as follows:
- We are committed to the task of climate protection in the long term and on an international scale.
- We assist the actors in emissions trading in the implementation of statutory regulations, facilitate their compliance with the law, and also support them in assuming their rights.
- We see our work as that of a modern public office and are forward-looking and results-oriented.
- We are cost-conscious and ecologically responsible in our handling of resources.
The DEHSt mandate in EU emissions trading and in JI and CDM is as follows:
- Allocation and distribution of emissions allowances:
Installation operators submit applications for allocation of certificates. DEHSt reviews the information previously verified by professional authorities, makes adjustments as necessary, and distributes certificates once a year.
- Review of emissions reports, imposition of sanctions if necessary:
Operators must submit emissions report by 1 March each year. The reports record their CO2 reductions as well as whether their CO2 emissions concur with the emissions allowances they hold. DEHSt reviews data submitted by operators.
Sanctions imposed for non-compliance with obligations to reduce emissions amounted to €40/ tonne CO2 in the first trading period (2005–2007), and will rise to €100/tonne CO2 as of the second trading period (2008-2012). In addition, emissions reductions must also be made to compensate for any initial failure to do so.
- Accounts management of all national operator holding and trading accounts:
DEHSt is responsible for operating the national emissions registry via which emission allowances and their trade are recorded.
Electronic accounts are available to all businesses participating in emissions trading. Furthermore, any natural or legal person may also open an account. DEHSt records issuance, ownership, transfer, surrender and cancellation of allowances.
- National and international reporting:
Additional tasks are European emissions trading reporting and cooperation with the UNFCCC secretariat. It also meets its obligations to report to the public and each and every actor in trading.
- Assistance in drafting National Allocation Plans:
DEHSt supports the German Federal Ministry for Environment in drafting and authorising the National Allocation Plan (NAP).
- Registration and publication of verifiers
- Approval of JI and CDM climate protection projects:
As Designated National Authority (DNA) DEHSt is in charge of CDM projects, and acts as Designated Focal Point (DFP) for JI projects. Its approval of such projects gives Germany the status of ‘investor state’ in JI and CDM, and ‘host country’ for JI projects carried out in Germany. Finally, DEHSt also reviews and approves JI project verification reports and submits verification appeals.
- International cooperation with the EU and the UNFCCC secretariat:
DEHSt works in close cooperation with its partners in the European Union and other international climate protection organisations.