Carbon trading under 'recycled' credits threat
Published 16/03/2010 | 05:00
THE International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) said yesterday that sales of 'recycled' United Nations carbon credits could damage the reputation of the European Union's emissions-trading market, posing a threat to the present system which allows Ireland to buy credits overseas.
The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) is presently buying carbon credits from foreign countries to allow industry to continue to expand cheaply. An end to the present system of carbon trading would force Irish companies to reduce their carbon emissions.
The NTMA spent €21.6m on credits last year and more than twice that amount the previous year. Nothing has been spent this year in the hope that energy saving measures, together with the downturn, will reduce carbon emissions.
Yesterday's warning came after Hungary agreed last week to sell almost two million metric tonnes of UN credits to an unspecified broker for 4bn forint (€15.4m). The European Commission said it was "concerned" as Hungary sold credits that had already been turned over to comply in the bloc's system.
Ireland, along with Spain, the Netherlands and Japan, wants to buy carbon emissions to meet greenhouse gas emissions targets.
If one country is well within the present cap on emissions, it may sell those surplus rights.