The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) began on 1 January 2005 and is currently in its second phase which runs until 2012. A further period is due to commence on 1 January 2013.
EU Member States set emissions caps for all installations covered by the System. The number of allowances allocated to each installation for a phase is set out in National Allocation Plans produced by each Member State.
Further information about the EU ETS is available from the DECC website - click here