The recession will not affect the amount of emission reductions under European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) as this is determined by the emissions cap, not the carbon price. Therefore, the current phase (Phase II, 2008-12) of EU ETS will deliver a 6 per cent reduction on 2005 emission levels, and this is unaffected by the recession.
However, the recession has affected the carbon price. The average carbon price in the first half of 2008 was €24. The carbon price in 2009 has averaged €13. This does mean that it is cheaper for the EU to meet its climate targets.
We have published a report on the 2008 results under EU ETS for the UK and the EU, which provides a more detailed assessment of the carbon market in that year. This can be found at http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/change_energy/tackling_clima/emissions/eu_ets/publications/publications.aspx.