OPINION 03/2004 on the Bill for a Royal Decree regulating the greenhouse gas emission trading scheme
The purpose of this Decree is to transpose Directive 2003/87/EC, which establishes one of the market instruments provided for in the Kyoto Protocol, namely trading in emis-sion allowances. In article 9 the Directive states that each Member State shall develop a National Allocation Plan (NAP) specifying the quantity of allowances that it intends to allocate for that period and how it proposes to allocate them, based on homogenous cri-teria for the distribution of allowances throughout the country.In its preliminary remarks, the Council notes that the willingness of the social partners to address this process was highlighted in the recent Declaration for Dialogue between Management and Labour: Competitiveness, stable employment and social cohesion, of 8 July 2004.The Council therefore applauds the setting up of dialogue committees in each sector of activity, with the presence of the government and the trade unions and employers? or-ganizations in the various fields concerned. But the Council deems that this considera-tion should be included in the articles of the bill, which would benefit the adaptation and relaxation of the Plan that is needed in view of the different circumstances to be taken into account in the criteria for allocating emission allowances. These factors should expressly include a mention of social circumstances, and in particular forecasts for and effects on employment.The Council deems that this mechanism for institutional participation by the employers? organizations and the trade unions in the monitoring and adaptation of the Plan would help to effectively resolve the differences between the government and the various sec-tors on the distribution of allowances by activity, in line with the lists envisaged on ei-ther side, with a view to allowance projections and requests. The Council therefore rec-ommends that the initial forecasts in the NAP should be adjustable during the Plan?s life, pursuant to the agreements reached through the instruments for dialogue between management and labour.