The first reviews are in of how Europe's Emissions Trading Scheme fared in 2008. Green Inc today cites a PointCarbon study in a post titled "recession cuts Europe's carbon emissions," which says that overall emissions decreased 6% in 2008. An earlier New Carbon Finance report provides a bit more detail:
emissions from the EU ETS totalled 2.1Gt CO2 in 2008, down 3% from 2007 levels. Even taking into account reduced economic output, ... analysis indicates that the largest cause of the reduction is the EU ETS itself encouraging greater use of gas in power generation.
That's 3% of a total decrease of 5%, according to New Carbon Finance.
We won't know for sure until more analyses come in later this year (the first official data were released today), but the signs look encouraging: even in a year when we'd think the recession would dwarf everything else, EU ETS seems to be responsible for a good chunk of emissions reductions -- even larger than the recession itself, per New Carbon Finance.