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EU Carbon Prices Rally After Utilities Fail to Hit Reduction Targets

carbon-emissions-sunset2European utilities and other emitters of greenhouse gases are upping their purchases of carbon credits after failing to meet year-end targets, sending the price for carbon credits upward.

Many European entities, which operate on an April to March fiscal cycle, failed to adequately reduce their carbon emissions, according to Bloomberg. Now that the fiscal year has ended, they are making up for their shortfalls on the open market, where prices for carbon credits have jumped to more than 12 euros a ton in recent days. While that is an increase over recent prices, it is still down 23 percent from a  year ago, Bloomberg reports.

European carbon emissions totaled 1.77 billion metric tons last year, up 11 percent from the 1.59 billion tons in allocated permits. Furthermore, some European nations (Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Cyprus) have not received their allowances, and their numbers won’t be included in this analysis until May.

While the EU failed to hit its targets, a different analysis of numbers shows that EU reduced its emissions 6 percent from 2007 to 2008, according to a press release from Point Carbon.

Among the 27 counties participating in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, about 2.1 billion tons of greenhouse gases were emitted last year, down from 2.245 billion tons the previous year. The private sector, including cement, lime, glass, pulp and paper operators, saw emissions decline 9 percent, according to Point Carbon.

The overall decline in EU emissions can be traced to the manufacturing slowdown in response to the global economy, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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