EON Overtakes Arcelor as Biggest UN Carbon-Offset User in 2012

EON SE, Germany’s biggest power generator, used the most United Nations offsets to cover carbon-dioxide emissions last year, overtaking steelmaker ArcelorMittal, data on the European Commission website show.

Factories and power stations used 500 million offsets in the bloc’s cap-and-trade program, the data show. EON handed in about 35 million credits, enough to cover 43 percent of its emissions last year. RWE AG, the second-biggest polluter in 2012, used credits covering 22 million tons, or 14 percent of its discharges. Offsets may be used to cut compliance costs within Europe’s carbon-trading system.

EON surrendered the most credits in the five years through 2012, known as Phase 2 of the EU market, according to EU data. The Dusseldorf-based utility submitted 54 million offsets during the second phase, ahead of Italian power company ENEL SpA and ArcelorMittal, which used 53 million and 45 million credits, respectively.

UN-sponsored offsets, known as Certified Emission Reductions and Emission Reduction Units, are awarded to projects that cut the greenhouse gases scientists blame for accelerating climate change. UN CERs for December rose 7.7 percent to 28 euro cents ($0.37) a metric ton at 12:46 p.m. on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange.

The power industry was the largest user of offsets in 2012, surrendering 267 million tons of CERs and ERUs to the European Commission, the market regulator. That brought its use of offsets in the second phase to 556 million tons, data show.

The heat and power sector used 66 million offsets last year, taking its total for the five years to 136 million tons, the same as the steel industry, the data show.

Tobin Postma, acting head of media relations in London at ArcelorMittal, declined to comment. Officials in EON’s press office didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

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