The European Union Executive announced its approval of eight national allocation plans (NAP), sharing out CO2 emissions amongst energy-intensive industrial plants in preparation for the launch of the carbon market next January.
The EU approved the NAPs proposed by Denmark, The Netherlands, Ireland, Slovenia and Sweden unconditionally, while Austria, Germany and the UK will see their plans passed providing minor technical amendments are made. The approvals clear over 5000 plants to receive more than 40 per cent of the allowances available.
Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom said: “Today’s decision is a crucial step as it clears the way for almost half of the plants which will be part of the pan-European emissions trading system. The decision shows that we are serious about our climate change policy and that we can start the emissions trading on the first of January next year as planned.”
The Commission has also sent first written warnings to Greece and Italy for not yet submitting their NAPs. All EU15 member states – with the exception of Austria, Germany, France and Sweden - have also received final written warnings for not fully transposing the emissions trading directive into national law, an action which was due by December 2003.