Brussels (Alliance News) - EU member states gave the final go-ahead Monday for reforms aimed at curbing carbon dioxide emissions, by influencing the cost for companies to buy the "right to pollute."
At present, the cost of permits allowing companies in the EU to produce a set volume of carbon dioxide is considered too low, reducing the incentive for them to invest in modern filter technologies or similar means of reducing their emissions.
Monday's agreement will allow the European Commission, the bloc's executive, to withhold the auctioning of 900 million emission permits from the market until the later part of the decade, with the aim of countering the price erosion of permits already being traded.
The move has already been approved by the European Parliament.
Industry representatives had opposed the initiative, fearing it would drive up their costs.
The measure is only a partial, one-off fix for the EU's emissions-trading scheme. The commission proposed structural changes to the way the system operates in January. These must now be examined by the bloc's 28 member states.
When the trading scheme was launched, the commission had expected a price of 30 euros for the right to emit one ton of carbon dioxide, but the economic crisis saw industrial production plummet and with it the cost of the permits.