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Europe accepts Slovenian grant of emission permits

The European Commission, which regulates the European Union's compulsory emissions trading system, accepted Slovenia's grant of carbon-dioxide permits in the five years through 2012 and limited its use of imports.

Slovenia will be able to grant 8.3 million tons of permits a year in the five years, the same number that it proposed, the commission said today in a statement on its Web site. „The Slovenian government has clearly understood the need to ensure that the emissions trading scheme remains a successful weapon for fighting climate change that others can emulate,” Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said in the statement. The commission limited Slovenia's use of imported emission credits to 15.7% of its allocation, less than its proposal of about 17.8%, commission spokeswoman Barbara Helfferich said at a news conference today in Brussels. The higher amount was not consistent with a rule that credit imports „should be used to supplement domestic action,” not replace it, the commission said in the statement. The commission is trying to avoid an oversupply of permits in the five years through 2012, which matches the compliance period of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The protocol is an agreement among nations to curb global warming by limiting greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide.

It's the commission's 13th decision on plans for the coming five years. In May, the regulator said it might have allowed national governments to hand out too many permits in the trading system's first phase, the three years through 2007, blaming inaccurate emissions data. Emission permits for December 2008 rose as much as 55 cents, or 3.7%, to €15.30 a metric ton, their highest in two sessions. They were at €15.25 a ton at 12:56 p.m. local time on the European Climate Exchange in Amsterdam. The commission has requested more information from Slovenia on how it proposes to treats new entrants to emitting industries in the trading system, which may include power utilities, oil refiners and steelmakers. Helfferich also said the commission hopes „to take a decision very soon” on France's emissions plan. (Bloomberg)