European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS)

  • The EU ETS is the largest multi-country, multi-sector greenhouse gas emissions trading system in the world.
  • The EU ETS recommends EN ISO 21644:2021 for measuring the biomass fraction of solid recovered fuels. EN ISO 21644:2021 supersedes EN 15440.
  • By providing EN ISO 21644 testing, Beta Analytic helps companies obtain carbon credits under the EU ETS.

Stack Gas CO2

The EU ETS, a major pillar of EU climate change policy, commenced in January 2005. It is based on Directive 2003/87/EC.

Under the EU ETS, large emitters of carbon dioxide within the EU must monitor and annually report their CO2 emissions. They are obliged to submit to the government an amount of emission allowances that is equivalent to their CO2 emissions in that year. Companies in various industries need to determine the biomass fractions of their CO2 emissions because carbon-neutral CO2 can be subtracted from their greenhouse gas inventories.

Phase 1 of the EU ETS was released in January 2005, while Phase 2 started in 2008. The third phase started in 2013 and ended in 2020. The EU ETS is now in its fourth phase, which runs from 2021 to 2030.

Monitoring and Reporting Regulations (MRR)

Guidelines for the monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions were first released in January 2004 (MRG 2004). The revised guidelines were established in July 2007 (MRG 2007). And in January 2008, the European Commission (EC) proposed a number of changes to the scheme.

  • MRR Guidance Document No. 3

In October 2012, the EC published a Guidance Document relating to biomass issues in the EU ETS. MRR Guidance Document No. 3 states that EN 15440 is the relevant standard for the determination of the fossil and biomass-derived carbon fraction in solid materials and fuels. For liquid samples and CO2 in flue gases, EN 15440’s Carbon-14 method or ASTM D6866 can be used. ISO 13833 is another option for CO2 in flue gases.

The MRR document was updated in October 2022 to address biomass issues in the EU ETS as well as to take into account new requirements by the current Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). While the ETS is an emissions cap and trade system, the RED II sets mandates for the use of renewable energies, particularly biofuels. Article 38(5) of the MRR requires that biomass seeking an emissions factor of zero under the ETS meet the criteria of the RED II. The RED II criteria requires producers to report the biogenic content of their biofuels to support the directive’s goal of 14% renewable energy by 2030.

For details, please read MRR Guidance document No. 3, updated October 17, 2022 (PDF).

  • MRR Guidance Document No. 5

MRR Guidance Document No. 5, also published in October 2012, explained in more detail the requirements for laboratory analyses. The MRR imposes strict rules to ensure high-quality results. It requires that all analyses should be carried out by laboratories that are accredited to ISO/IEC 17025. Non-accredited laboratories may be used provided that they demonstrate competence equivalent to accreditation in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025.

MRR Guidance Document No. 5 was last updated in October 2021.

More updates are found on the EU ETS website.

European Committee for Standardization

CEN, or Comite Europeen de Normalisation (European Committee for Standardization), aims to promote not only Europe’s economy in global trading but also the welfare of its citizens and environment by removing trade barriers for industry and consumers in the continent.

The private, non-profit organization develops standards and other technical specifications that become the national standards in each of the organization’s 34 members—the National Standards Bodies of the 27 countries of the European Union, United Kingdom, the Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey plus three countries of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland).

CEN published EN 15440 in 2011 for renewable content determination of solid recovered fuels. The standard has been superseded by EN ISO 21644:2021.

Biogenic Carbon Content Determination by Beta Analytic

By providing accurate and reliable biogenic fraction measurements, ISO/IEC 17025-accredited Beta Analytic is able to help companies who want to join or are already participating in the EU ETS. Under this cap-and-trade program, companies can obtain carbon credits if they do not emit as much greenhouse gases as the threshold levels established. One way of getting lower GHG inventories is by measuring the biogenic fraction of their solid recovered fuels through EN ISO 21644.

Page Last Updated: April 2023