Directive 2003/87/EC established a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community, with a view to promoting emission reductions in a cost-effective and economically efficient manner. The scheme, called EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS), is part of the mechanisms that the Kyoto Protocol identified for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 5.2%, from the levels recorded in 1990 (base-year), within the 2008-2012 period. The EU ETS, which came into force on 1 January 2005, is the most important emission permit trading system in the world.
The GME’s Emissions Trading Market - i.e. a venue for trading GHG emission units - provides Italian and foreign operators with a useful operational instrument for marketing and managing their emission units.
Operators that have a holding account in the National Registry (held by APAT, which took on the name of ISPRA, “Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale” - environmental protection and research institute - under law 133/2008) or in other European Registries may find their trading counterparties in the GME’s Market and negotiate emission permits under certain and predefined rules. These rules guarantee:
• competition between operators,
• anonymity of trades;
• transparency of transactions;
• efficiency in price formation;
• security of transactions.
The GME’s electronic platform manages spot-delivery trades of EUAs (European Unit Allowances) for the Kyoto Protocol Phase I (2005-2007) and Phase II (2008-2012). The platform is also designed for the trading of credits accrued from the CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) and JI (Joint Implementation) projects, i.e. CERs (Certified Emission Reductions) and ERUs (Emission Reduction Units), respectively, as per Directive 2004/101/EC (or Linking Directive).

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