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EU Hails German CO2 Decision, Coy on Permits

Date: 12-Feb-07
Country: BELGIUM

"We are not going to make a special deal with any of the member states."

A Commission spokeswoman said Brussels had indicated informally to Germany that some of its other requests for amendments to its National Allocation Plan for CO2 emissions permits could be acceptable if it provided further information. She declined to say whether Berlin's key demand, to be allowed to buy up to 20 percent of its greenhouse gas emission credits, was among the acceptable changes.

"The Commission welcomes the German government's strong commitment to a successful EU emissions trading scheme," spokeswoman Barbara Helfferich told a news briefing.

To be successful, the scheme needed to lead to real reductions in CO2 emissions, she said. "Germany recognises this importance and is showing leadership on climate change."

Helfferich said Berlin had written twice to the Commission proposing amendments to its National Allocation Plan.

"We have studied these amendments and we have sent the German authorities a letter indicating informally that some of the amendments could be acceptable upon receipt of further information," she said.

Asked whether Berlin had won its crucial demand to be allowed to buy up to 20 percent of its permits abroad under the Kyoto protocol on fighting global warming, she said: "I will not comment on that."

Germany accepted an EU cap of 453.1 million tonnes a year on its CO2 emissions in the 2008-2012 period, down from the 482 million tonnes it had initially sought last November.

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