The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is supposed to be an important mechanism for addressing climate change. Up to now, the theoretical foundation of EU ETS has been widely acknowledged, but empirical research on its current situation has only been published recently or is forthcoming. Therefore, this paper is aimed to summarize the main arguments of empirical studies on the EU ETS, in terms of two aspects, i.e., the operating mechanism and economic effect of the EU ETS, which are two crucial topics and have been attached much attention. Based on the shortcomings of current research and future requirements of the EU ETS evolution, finally, we also present some further directions of the EU ETS research. Overall, the research overview here may be helpful to recognize the features of the EU ETS and its effect on others.