European Commission Suspended Most Transactions in EU ETS Registries

As of 19 January 2011, the European Commission has suspended transactions, except for allocation and surrender of allowances, in all EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) registries until at least 26 January 2011, 19:00 Central European Time. This is due to repeated security breaches in national registries over the last two months.

The incidents have underlined the urgent need for all registries to ensure that security measures as discussed with the European Commission are speedily put in place, the Commission said. Referring to an AFP report, Dow Jones Deutschland said hackers had broken into the registries of several EU countries, stealing emission allowances. Credits stolen from the Czech Republic were reportedly worth EUR 7 million. At the beginning of last year, hackersalready obtained access to accounts via phishing e-mails. They stole and quickly sold emission allowances worth millions.

A further announcement will be made early next week, the Commission said.  It wanted to determine together with national authorities what minimum security measures needed to be implemented before the suspension of a registry could be lifted, the Commission also said.

With 30 participating countries (the 27 EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), ETS is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emission trading system. Some 11,000 power stations and industrial plants fall under the scheme. Their emissions are capped. Within the cap, companies receive emission allowances which they can sell to or buy from one another as needed. A major overhaul of ETS is due in 2013 with the start of the third trading period. The system will be expanded to more sectors and gases. Besides, more allowances will be auctioned off instead of being allocated free of charge.

Source: European Commission; Dow Jones Deutschland

Related posts: