EU Seeks Vote on Carbon Registry on Jan. 23, Document Shows

The European Union scheduled a vote on Jan. 23 on draft carbon-registry regulation that may include limits on some imported emission credits and is seeking further talks on a permit-supply fix, according to an EU document.

The European Commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm, wants to restrict the use of some Emission Reduction Units, or ERUs, from countries that fail to adopt new carbon goals under the United Nations Kyoto Protocol as of this year. Experts from national governments in the EU Climate Change Committee are set to vote on the proposal in the first part of the Jan. 23 meeting, according to the document, which was obtained by Bloomberg News.

European law allows companies in the EU emissions trading system, or ETS, to use international carbon offsets, including ERUs, as a cheaper form of compliance with their greenhouse-gas quotas. The Commission declined to comment on draft regulations.

The commission said after the previous meeting of the climate committee on Dec. 13 that consensus is growing among governments on a plan to bar emitters from holding in their accounts ERUs issued after April 2013 that represent carbon cuts made before the end of 2012 in countries without emission targets for 2013-2020. That would apply to projects which are approved by UN regulators for issuance of credits in a procedure known as Track Two.

Track One

The EU regulator didn’t comment last month on another amendment it was seeking in a draft of the regulation in October, which would bar EU emitters from holding in their accounts ERUs issued after 2012 by countries such as Russia that generate the credits in a procedure overseen by governments, known as Track One.

ERUs are generated under the UN Joint Implementation program, which encourages investments in low-carbon energy by industrialized countries in other nations that have emission-reduction goals under the Kyoto Protocol. The first so-called commitment period under the treaty expired in 2012 and the second will run from 2013 to 2020, the UN decided at a climate summit last month in Doha.

JI projects are hosted by some EU nations and countries including Russia and Ukraine. While the EU agreed to adopt targets under the second Kyoto commitment period, Russia declined to sign up to a new set of goals.

Delay Auctions

Member states will also continue discussions on Jan. 23 on the commission’s proposal to delay auctions of 900 million carbon permits in the three years through 2015, according to the EU document. Several nations, including the U.K. and Germany, were undecided at their previous meeting about whether they would back the measure, known as backloading, an EU official, who declined to be identified, said last month.

European governments may formally vote on the strategy after the region’s parliament decides on a related amendment to the emissions law, according to the EU. Matthias Groote, a German member of the parliament who oversees the legislative change, said in November he’s seeking to bring the assembly’s vote on the measure forward by a month to March.

ERUs for December rose 4.2 percent to 50 euro cents ($0.66) a metric ton on the ICE Futures Europe exchange as of 11:03 a.m. in London. EU allowances for December lost 0.3 percent to 6.19 euros. They fell 16 percent in 2012.

The agenda of the Jan. 23 meeting of the climate committee also includes information on determining the final cap for emitters in 2013 and beyond, the transitional common auctioning platform and emission curbs on aviation, the document shows. The commission is also due to provide an update on the talks to link the EU cap-and-trade system with programs in Australia and Switzerland, according to the document.

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