Thursday, January 20, 2011

European carbon markets suspended

The suspension of trading on European carbon emissions markets has been covered fairly widely, with the most interesting (and critical) story I've seen being this one from the Telegraph. European carbon market suspended over fraud fears: "The European carbon market has been thrown into turmoil after the scandal-hit scheme was suspended for a week over suspicions of fraud."

"More than €2bn (£1.7bn) of trade is likely to be disrupted after the European Commission said it would prevent transactions until January 26.
"The suspension follows allegations that 475,000 carbon credits worth €7m were stolen in a hacking attack on the Czech carbon register. It appears that the intangible allowances were bounced between eastern European countries before disappearing without a trace."

"This is not the first challenge to the credibility of the €90bn annual market in carbon allowances
"Under the flagship scheme, companies need permits to emit carbon dioxide as part of the global fight against climate change and polluters are granted a certain number of emissions allowances that can be traded.
"But it has been plagued by fraud, with Europol estimating that carbon trading criminals trying to play the system may have accounted for up to 90pc of all market activity in some European countries during 2009. Fraudulent traders mainly from Britain, France, Spain, Denmark and Holland pocketed an estimated €5bn. Carbon allowances are particularly susceptible to fraud because they are high value, intangible and easily moved between different countries."

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