Britain postpones June carbon permit auction

LONDON Thu Apr 5, 2012 6:26am EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain postponed on Thursday a planned auction of 4 million European Union carbon permits to September from June due to uncertainty around the timing of the start of a single, EU-wide carbon registry.

Britain has generated a total of 1.38 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in carbon auction revenue since it started the process in November 2008.

Its auction previously announced for June 7 is being postponed until September 6, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said.

"This revision to the auction calendar is due to the current uncertainty around the exact timing of the activation of the Single Union Registry and to provide as much prior notice to the market as possible," it said.

The single EU carbon registry, which is partially activated, will enable European countries taking part in the EU emissions trading scheme to open registry accounts and receive carbon permits called EU Allowances.

The European Commission has said full activation of the single registry will not take place before June.

Under the current rules of the EU carbon scheme, which caps emissions on around 12,000 power and industrial plants across the 27-nation bloc, each country manages its own registry.

Britain's auction of 4 million carbon permits on May 10 will go ahead as scheduled, the DECC statement said. An additional 4 million permits will be auctioned as planned on July 5, when the registry is expected to be in place.

($1 = 0.7623 euros)

(Reporting by Jeff Coelho, editing by Jane Baird)

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