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EU carbon Emission Trading Scheme

Member states work on their national allocation plans

Draft national plans are starting to emerge for this second phase of the EU carbon emission trading scheme (ETS). A number of member states are under pressure to cut the number of allowances compared with the 2005-2007 first phase if they are to meet their Kyoto protocol emission commitments.

Early signs of how governments are approaching the task have emerged from Sweden and Finland.

On 22nd March, the Swedish government submitted an outline of its second phase national allocation plan (NAP) to national parliament. Numbers of emission allowances should be lower than what the trading sector is expected to emit, according to the document. However, it does not propose concrete numbers.

In Finland, the emissions cap will be set "well below" the current level, according to an official from the ministry of industry and trade quoted by analyst Point Carbon. The country faces a significant challenge to bring national emissions back to 1990 levels by 2010-2012.

The deadline for all states to submit their national allocation plans is 30 June 2006.

The success and environmental effectiveness of the Emissions Trading Directive depends critically on the integrity of the national allocation plans. These plans must set caps that produce real emission cuts!

The Greens intend to scrutinise the proposals for the next period 2008-2012 and participate actively in the debate to ensure the NAPs are consistent with our international obligations and set the tone for future reductions needed to play our part in avoiding dangerous climate change.

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