SOFIA (Bulgaria), December 23 (SeeNews) – Bulgarian on Wednesday adopted a revised carbon dioxide (CO2) emission allowances plan that opens the way for the country to join the European greenhouse emissions trading mechanism for the 2008 – 2012 period.
The plan contains all the requirements and suggestions of the European Commission and covers 132 installations throughout the country, the government said in a statement on its website.
In October the European Commission rejected for a second time the government’s plan, cutting the CO2 emission allowances of Bulgaria for the 2008 – 2012 European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) by 37.4% to 42.3 million tonnes from 68.6 million tonnes prposed by the government in March.
Bulgaria suggested that 150 installations of Bulgarian companies should get CO2 emission allowances, but the EU executive insisted that only operational capacities should be included and not ones that are still in a development stage. Bulgaria is the only EU member state without an emission allowances plan approved by the Commission.
Japan and Spain have inquired the cabinet in Sofia about purchasing some of Bulgaria’s quotas of greenhouse gas emissions agreed under the Kyoto Protocol, local daily Dnevnik reported on Wednesday. Bulgaria has about 200 million tonnes excess emission allowances which could be traded for up to two billion euro ($2.86 billion), Dnevnik said.
The Kyoto Protocol commits the European Union member states to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 8.0% from the 1990 levels. The ETS requires each country to submits a national quota allocation plan for approval by the European Commission.
The best known mechanism for trading emission allowances is the cap and trade system that sets a limit on the emission entitlement of each polluter who therefore has to reduce emissions and bear the related cost. If the operation proves too costly for a company, it can then purchase emission rights from another company for which the cost is lower, thus effectively financing the latter’s emission reductions, the Commission said on its website.
ETS ensures that greenhouse gas emissions from the energy and industry sectors are cut at the lowest cost to the economy, thus helping the EU and its member states to meet their emission commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. The control of CO2 emissions is aimed at reducing the so-called greenhouse effect, which scientists claim is causing climate change on a global scale.
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