Slovak steel company loses NAP battle

A steel company which sought to scrap plans to restrict national carbon emissions has had its mettle tested by the European courts.

Slovak firm, US Steel Košice, has lost its actions for annulment of the Slovakian national Allocation plan for CO2 emissions, which had been approved by the European Commission under the emissions trading directive.

US Steel Košice, which represents the entire Slovak steel industry, generates around one-sixth of Slovak greenhouse emissions.

Upon receiving notification of the Slovak NAP, the European Commission took the view that the total quantity of planned allowances had to be reduced; following discussions with the Commission, the Slovak Government accepted a NAP reduction.

US Steel Košice claimed that the Commission limited the allocation to a level which was considerably lower than the total quantity of allowances initially provided for in the NAP notified by Slovakia, a quantity which was compatible with Slovakia's commitment under the Kyoto Protocol; and that the Commission placed unacceptable pressure on the Slovak Government to reduce the total quantity of allowances to be allocated.

The European Court of Justice ruled the challenges inadmissible and stated that with regard to US Steel Košice's criticism of the Commission for having authorised an excessively low total quantity of allowances, this individual allocation was decided by the Slovak government, not the commission.

Judgement: T-489/04 and T-27/07 may be accessed via the website of the ECJ at this link.

The European Court of Justice has annulled Commission Decision C(2004) 2515/2, concerning the national allocation plan for the allocation of greenhouse gas emission allowances, in so far as it directs the Federal Republic of Germany to omit measures for ex-post adjustment.

The court held that the Commission had not demonstrated that downward adjustments, provided for in Germanys national allocation plan, breached criteria laid down in Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the community.

Judgement: T-374/04 may be accessed via the website of the ECJ at the following link:-

http://curia.europa.eu/en/actu/communiques/cp07/aff/cp070080en.pdf

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