The European Commission on August 6 said the EU will link its carbon trading market to the United Nations' scheme by December at the latest. The joined-up schemes should give Europe's biggest polluters -- such as the steel, construction and energy firms -- more leeway to subsidize CO2 reduction projections worldwide in return for credits in the EU's trading system.
The linking of the two systems will enable companies to transfer "certified emission reductions" (CERs) issued under the UN's Clean Development Mechanism to EU member states.
The first test-run, which took place in May, involved five member states. The second, which ended on August 4, involved all member states, as well as registries in Russia, Japan and New Zealand. "These tests have now been successfully completed," the commission said.
"Linking up with the UN's carbon credit registry will further strengthen Europe's leading role in the global carbon market," linking it to non-European countries such as Australia and Japan," said EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas.
The EU's register, which has been operational since 2005, is the central registry for tracking ownership of allowances in the EU Emissions Trading System. The International Transaction Log (ITL) keeps track of various types of UN credits from countries that have signed up to the Kyoto Protocol. After the hook-up, the two systems will control and track transactions jointly.
The EU has fixed emission quotas for each of the 27 member states in a bid to cut down on greenhouses gases and tackle climate change. Overall the EU is seeking to cut carbon emissions by 20% by 2020. Brussels want industry to pay for the right to pollute by 2013. These rights could be traded with a ton of CO2 currently put at around 30 euros, a two-year high.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008