EU commissioner and environment chief Margot Wallstrom said at a recent UN climate change conference : “The EU carbon market is now a reality. … The EU emission trading directive is now in force and will cover almost half of the EU’s carbon dioxide emissions from 2005.”
The EU has been the primary force after saving the endangered Kyoto Protocol after the US pulled out and Russia has cited the effects on its economy for its reason to stay out of the agreement. However, many observers think Russia will eventually come on board, motivated by the billion-dollar emission credit market.
However, a progress report published by the European Environment Agency, stated that the EU was moving further away from meeting its targets. Existing measures in the 15-country bloc would limit emission reduction to only 0.5 percent in 2010 when compared with 1990 levels – far from the eight percent pledged under Kyoto.
Nevertheless, EU companies are getting ready to take part in the emissions trading scheme, which is expected to help the EU meet Kyoto Protocol greenhouse targets, according to Ms Wallstrom. The trading scheme will apply to all EU countries, including the 10 new members joining this spring. Most of these are former Soviet bloc countries.