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Lithuania joins carbon challenge roster

Lithuania has confirmed that it will join its Baltic neighbors in taking the European Commission to court over the level of its carbon dioxide emission allowance.

It is the seventh eastern European nation to take legal action, creating a serious headache for EC regulators. Lithuania has asked for a CO2 allowance of 11.2 million tons a year for the period 2008-2012, after the European Commission has halved its original allocation of 16.6 million tons to 8.8 million tons. “Lithuania’s government is going to appeal to the European Court of Justice over emission allowances,” said Nemira Pumprickaite, spokeswoman for Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas August 10. In Brussels, a spokeswoman for Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said the Commission was confident that its decision would be upheld in court.

Baltic neighbors Latvia and Estonia as well as larger Eastern European peers Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia have also decided to appeal to the EU court over the CO2 quotas as too restrictive for their growing economies. Lithuania has said it will have to produce more electricity from fossil fuel plants, a major source of pollution, after the closure of its remaining Soviet-built nuclear reactor to fill the gap until a new nuclear plant comes on stream. (baltictimes.com)