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EU Carbon Architect Defends $21.4 Billion Russian Phase-Out Plan

  • Jos Delbeke comments on EU proposal to sell emissions permits
  • EU Commission wants to tap carbon market for 20 billion euros
Jos Delbeke, right, takes part in the opening ceremony for the G8 Environment Ministers Meeting in Kobe City, Japan in 2008.

Jos Delbeke, right, takes part in the opening ceremony for the G8 Environment Ministers Meeting in Kobe City, Japan in 2008.

Photographer: TOMOHIRO OHSUMI

The European Union’s plan to tap its carbon market for 20 billion euros ($21.4 billion) will help to phase out Russian fossil fuels without jeopardizing long-term green goals, according to an architect of the bloc’s emissions-trading program.  

The proposal by the European Commission to sell about 10% of permits currently withheld from the market is a “wholly defendable way” of raising funds amid exceptional circumstances while respecting a cap on pollution, said Jos Delbeke, a former Commission climate official and a professor at the European University Institute in Florence.