The German Federal Government’s National Climate Change Programme created the Working Group on "Emissions Trading to Combat the Greenhouse Effect" (AGE) in October 2000. The role of the AGE is to examine climate change mechanisms and make recommendations for their design. The group meets ten times a year to discuss the use of flexible mechanisms as well as the design and implementation of the European Climate Change Programme.
Since the implementation of the EU emissions trading directive became German law in 2004, the AGE has focused on issues that arise as a consequence of the implementation process of the European system in Germany. The AGE is funded by the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU), member contributions and consists of representatives of the federal (state) government(s), companies, associations and trade unions.
In 2003, adelphi began managing the sponsorship of the working group. The sponsorship includes project staffing and administrative management, financial management, overseeing the members as well as technical support to the AGE.