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EU Carbon Market ‘Could Open This Week’

The European spot market in emissions permits may re-open this week, following its closure due to theft, the European Commission has said.

But some countries’ climate registries are not yet ready to open, officials said.

The market remained shut for a 12th day today. It closed January 19 after EU allowances worth up to 30 million euros were stolen.  The commission had set a deadline of last Wednesday for gradual resumption of trading, Reuters said.

In a statement late on Friday, the commission said: “Current expectations are that the first national registries may be able to resume normal operations in the second half of the week beginning 31 January 2011.”

But European Union climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said some of the bloc’s carbon registries could stay closed for weeks as they implement security upgrades, Bloomberg reported.

Earlier on Friday the International Emissions Trading Association called for “a deadline by which registries will be back online”.

“While the safety of online banking has been scaled up, EU Member States have failed in protecting an 80 billion euro market, thereby undermining the EU’s main tool to reach climate objectives,” said Henry Derwent, head of IETA.

The spot market is about a quarter the size of the futures market in emissions permits, which has remained open, Reuters said.

Meanwhile an EU official told Bloomberg that organized crime may be responsible for the emissions thefts.

“Investigations are now being carried out by member states, and the Europol is involved,” Jos Delbeke, director general for climate at the European Commission, told the news service.

And the Wall Street Journal reported that CO2 hackers in Greece have been traced, with arrests to be announced in the next few days.

Picture credit: rockcohen

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