Thursday, November 24, 2005

Court rules in favour of UK over NAP

The European Court of First Instance has ruled that it was acceptable for the UK Government to increase its allocation of carbon dioxide emissions last year, prior to the carbon trading system being set up.

It said that the UK had already said that its first estimate of 736 million tonnes of allowances, submitted on 30 April 2004, was provisional, and that it needed to consult further. On 10 November, the DTI announced an increase to the total quantity of allowances to 756.1 Mt CO2 (2.7%). The EC protested, as did green groups, that the government was capitulating to the big emitters, such as power companies.

The Court has said that the UK acted within the rules, since not to have been able to make the amendment would have rendered meaningless the public consultation, which was required by the directive.

This decision lets the UK Government off the legal hook, but it does not mean that they didn't capitulate to the power companies. Nor does it mean that the power comanies were right.

At the time they argued for more allowances as it would hurt their profits.

In the event they have made windfall profits as a result of carbon trading.

The Government is therefore still guilty of protecting profits of the oil companies at the expense of the environment.

Link to the Court's decision press release

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