DECC reveals next EU ETS auctions

7th March 2012

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The energy department has confirmed it will sell off 12 million allowances under the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) in three auctions over the next five months

In addition to auctions in June and July, as occurred in the previous two years, DECC has confirmed a third date in May on which energy-intensive companies will be able to bid for additional carbon credits.

The auctions will take place on 10 May, 7 June and 5 July and will each see four million allowances auctioned.

Under the cap and trade scheme, 12,000 of Europe’s most energy-intensive industrial sites must surrender enough allowances at the end of each year to cover their annual emissions for that year.

If firms exceed their annual allocation of free allowances, they must buy extra from government auctions or other companies with surplus credits. Firms that fail to surrender enough credits at the end of the year face fines of €100 per tonne of carbon dioxide emissions.

In 2010, oil and gas giant ExxonMobil was fined more than €3 million by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, after it failed to report 33,000 tonnes of CO2 that had been emitted from its ethylene plant in Fife during 2008.

The fine is thought to be the largest ever issued for an environmental offence in the UK.


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