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EU Got ‘Not Many Indications’ on Carbon Volumes to Be Postponed

European Union member states offered “not many” opinions on the volumes of carbon permits they think could be delayed at auctions as of 2013 during the first round of talks on a draft regulation, an EU document showed.

The European Commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm, asked representatives of national governments at a Sept. 19 meeting in Brussels to express their views on when it should table an official proposal to postpone sales of CO2 permits and how many allowances should be delayed, according to the minutes of the gathering in Brussels.

“There were not many indications as regards the question on the volumes that the member states consider should be backloaded,” the commission said in the document in an EU database. “A number of member states emphasized that they want to see the report on structural measures and start the debate on them soon, before taking a final position.”

The EU, which started its emissions market in 2005, is considering options to improve the program after prices fell to a record low in April on a glut of permits that is equal to almost half of the average annual pollution limit in the so-called cap-and-trade system. EU permits for December fell 0.6 percent to 7.76 euros ($10.06) on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange as of 1:20 p.m.

The commission submitted to national governments in July an outline of a future measure to curtail the oversupply by delaying some allowances at auctions at the beginning of the next trading period from 2013 to 2020, or Phase 3. Under the so-called backloading plan, which is an amendment to the EU carbon auctioning regulation, the allowances would be returned to the market at a later stage of the new phase.


At the same time the commission is working on a report about potential long-term measures to strengthen the system and on an assessment of the impact from delaying auctions. The documents will be published “in the coming weeks,” Jos Delbeke, director general for climate at the commission, said Oct. 2.

“In the discussion, most member states requested to the commission to put forward an actual proposal for an amendment to the Auctioning Regulation, including specific volumes, and an impact assessment,” the commission said in the minutes of the Sept. 19 meeting.

The next meeting of the Climate Change Committee, where a measure needs a qualified-majority backing from representatives of national governments to pass, is scheduled for Oct. 17.

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