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Europe delays launch of next year's carbon market auctions

Kate Abnett
·1-min read

By Kate Abnett

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Auctions of carbon permits in the European Union's emissions trading system (ETS) next year will not start until late January or early February, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

For "technical reasons", auctions of permits on behalf of most EU countries, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, will kick off later than usual, the Commission said. This year's EU ETS auctions began on Jan. 7.

Poland auctions its permits separately.

The ETS is the EU's flagship climate policy, forcing power plants, industry and airlines running intra-EU flights to buy permits when they emit planet-warming greenhouse gases.

The Commission said the total amount of permits released into the scheme next year will be 1.572 billion.

This is based on new ETS rules coming into force next year, which curb the scheme's supply at a faster rate, and the departure of Britain from the policy.

Britain will exit the ETS when the Brexit transition period ends on Dec. 31. Emissions from power generation in Northern Ireland will continue to be covered by the ETS, under electricity market rules agreed in the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement.

Further changes to the ETS are on the way. The Commission plans to unveil a package of carbon market reforms by next summer - including adding shipping emissions to the scheme, and tightening its supply of permits - as part of plans to cut emissions faster this decade.

(Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)