Hungary, the third-largest economy among the 10 newest European Union countries, allocated permits for 15% more carbon dioxide than the country's companies emitted last year, Bloomberg reported on Monday.
Hungarian companies emitted 25.7 million metric tons of the gas in 2005, compared with the 30.2 million metric tons for which they were granted permits, said Ágnes Kelemen, director of the Environment Ministry's Climate Change Department.
“Emission was lower than expected,” Kelemen said. “Our goal was to grant just as many permits as companies needed.”
Reasons for the surplus included the drop in the output of cement producers last year and one or two power plants switching to biomass fuel from coal, Kelemen said. Several companies also overestimated their 2005 emissions in calculations for last year's allocation of permits, she added.
Hungary started distributing allowances last month for the European Union's emissions-trading system. The program requires industrial sites to have a permit for each ton of carbon dioxide they emit. Those that emit more than they have permits for must buy extra permits.