On the 16th May 2011 the European Commission released the final emissions trading data for 2010, giving the most up-to-date picture yet of how the system is functioning. Included in this data is the total use of international offset credits, from both Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) projects.
The data show that in 2010 137 million offsets, 117 million CERs and 20 million ERUs, were used by companies across Europe to count towards their emission reduction commitments. This brings the total number of offsets used to date to 300 million.
In 2010, 77% (90.4m) of all CERs surrendered were industrial gas – HFC and N2O adipic – credits. So far in Phase II , 81% (224m) of all CERs surrendered have come from industrial gas projects at an estimated value of €2.8bn. In January 2010 the European Commission approved a ban of industrial gas credits from the EU ETS effective as of 1st May 2013. Nevertheless, this has done little to prevent their ongoing use in the current phase of the system. Indeed it has increased their uptake, as ETS installations scramble to take advantage of this closing window for cheap compliance.
Over the past year the use of industrial gas offsets has provoked heated debate that, in January 2010, culminated in the European Commission banning these credits form the EU ETS as of 1st May 2013.