Europe and UN to link carbon trading schemes

The European Commission and the UN have announced plans to link their respective emissions trading schemes, bringing the reality of a global carbon market a step closer.

The two bodies have been looking at how links could be made between the two systems - the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and UN-administered Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) which issues credits under the aegis of the Kyoto Protocol.

Testing is now complete and the registries logging valid carbon credits in both schemes are to be linked before the end of the year.

In effect, this means credits earned in one system will be valid for trading in the other.

European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: "I welcome the successful outcome of the testing phase.

"This now paves the way for the transfer of credits from the Clean Development Mechanism into the EU registry system. Linking up with the UN's carbon credit registry will further strengthen Europe's leading role in the global carbon market."

The linking of the two systems will enable companies to transfer certified emission reductions (CERs) issued under the Clean Development Mechanism into their accounts in European Member State registries.

The CDM allows countries with an emission reduction commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to earn credits by funding carbon-reduction projects in developing countries.

These projects earn saleable CER credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets.

As CERs can be used to offset emissions under the EU ETS, the link will help ensure that operators have access to an adequate supply of carbon credits.

Sam Bond



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