Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Romanian official quits after carbon market suspension

(AFP)

BUCHAREST — The head of Romania's environment protection agency quit Monday after the Balkan country was blocked from selling carbon credits over concerns about irregularities, the government said.

Iosif Nagy, named to the job in 2010, told Agerpres news agency he was paying for his predecessors' errors.

The committee monitoring Kyoto Protocol compliance has suspended Romania from the programme due to "irregularities observed" in Bucharest's 2010 greenhouse gas emissions data, the environment ministry said Sunday.

In December, Romanian Environment Minister Laszlo Borbely said the country hoped to earn some 1.5 billion euros ($2.2 billion) from selling carbon offsets.

Romania was in talks with two Japanese companies on selling parts of the 300 million carbon credits it had been granted by the Kyoto committee.

The suspension has immediate effect, and Bucharest must put in place an "adequate" system for monitoring emissions before it can resume selling carbon offsets, the ministry explained.

The environment ministry said it had already begun developing an improved emissions monitoring system so that it could re-enter the carbon market in the near future.

The carbon trading scheme was adopted under the Kyoto Protocol, which sets binding targets for 38 industrialised countries for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by five percent between 2008 and 2012 compared to their 1990 level.

The scheme allows around 12,000 companies including huge multinationals to buy and sell rights to pump industrial gases into the atmosphere.

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