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Huge carbon theft keeps EU market closed

brussels bureau

Huge carbon theft keeps EU market closed


A full reopening next week of the European Union’s emissions trading scheme will depend on security improvements. This follows a theft by hackers of carbon permits worth nearly 30 million euros, from accounts in the Czech Republic and Austria.

On Wednesday, the bloc froze spot trade in its market, the chief instrument for its fight on climate change. This latest glitch could further discourage the US and Japan from adopting similar schemes, although the European Commission ruled out sabotage.

European Commission spokeswoman Maria Kokkonen said: “Security is the responsibility of the national member states, for their own registry. But we, of course, as market regulators, have to act here and remind the member states to take measures.”

The EU caps nearly half its carbon emissions by allocating fixed quotas to factories and power plants.

Freezing the spot market did not block trade in futures. But Europe’s top climate official said half the EU member states seemed to have failed in their security duties.

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