EU Considers Setting Aside Carbon Permits for New Emissions Technologies

The European Union may set aside carbon allowances in its cap-and-trade program for companies that invest in new emission-reduction technologies, Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said.

“We’re working on what we’re calling an innovation accelerator,” Hedegaard told a briefing in Brussels today. “We think there are some areas where the likelihood is a surplus of allowances that could be handed out to those who invest in totally new technologies.”

The European trading system, started in 2005, caps emissions for more than 12,000 factories and power stations, allowing them to buy and sell allowances.

“This is one of the ideas we’re exploring: If there are surplus allowances, how they could be used to benefit those, who are moving in the right direction,” Hedegaard said, declining to elaborate.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ewa Krukowska in Brussels at

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