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BNEF Sees ‘Very Slight’ Impact of Offsets Ban on EU Carbon Price

The European Union proposal to ban some United Nations-sponsored carbon offsets from use in the EU emissions-trading system will have only a “very slight” impact on European permits, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The European Commission, the 27-nation bloc’s regulator, today proposed a ban on UN credits linked to hydrofluorocarbon-23 and nitrous oxide from adipic acid production for compliance in the EU cap-and-trade market, the world’s largest. The restrictions would come into effect as of Jan. 1, 2013, according to the draft regulation.

“I don’t think it’ll have much effect on EU prices at all,” Guy Turner, director for carbon markets at BNEF, told a panel at the EMART conference in Amsterdam. “The effect is going to be very slight.”

The impact of the proposed regulation on offsets traded on the over-the-counter market will be “material” because investors will be able to differentiate credits related to HFC-23 and nitrous oxide from credits from other types of projects, according to Turner.

“As for futures traded on exchanges, it’s really up to exchanges to decide how they are going to deal with it, although you have to expect some kind of a discount,” he said.

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