Spain backs single EU carbon auction platform

LONDON Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:56am EST

LONDON (Reuters) - Spain backs a single, EU-wide carbon permit auctioning platform from 2013, the Spanish environment ministry told Reuters on Friday.

The move signaled a change in stance given that Spain previously seemed to prefer having a national platform.

"Spain had considered having its own national platform. However, after studying the options, Spain has decided to work to have a competitive common platform, which gives equal access to all operators," a spokeswoman for the environment ministry said.

EU member states face a Saturday deadline to tell the Commission whether they will participate in a centralized auctioning platform from 2013 or hold their own auctions under the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).

The Commission proposed last year a single auction platform for all member states from 2013. After opposition from Germany, Poland, Spain and the UK, it backed down and said countries could choose to operate their own platforms if they wished.

Poland and Germany have confirmed they will opt out of the single platform plan in favor of their own platforms.

The UK is expected to make its position clear later on Friday.