EU this week to OK talks on helping carbon market, official says

BRUSSELS Mon Nov 4, 2013 6:16am EST

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Officials of EU member states are almost certain to agree on a mandate this week to begin talks with the European parliament on a proposal to prop up carbon prices, an EU official said on Monday.

"I am 99 percent confident we will get a mandate on Friday," said the official close to the process who asked not be to named.

Lithuania, which holds the EU presidency, has put forward the EU's so-called ‘backloading' proposal for discussion at Friday's meeting of member state officials in Brussels.

Backloading would involve temporarily delaying the sale of 900 million permits in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to help lift carbon prices. The EU Parliament and the council of member states need to agree on the proposal before it can become law.

Carbon market participants, who are watching the process closely, expect the measure to be agreed but no permits to be withdrawn from the sale process until mid-2014.

(Reporting by Barbara Lewis; writing by Ben Garside; editing by Jane Baird)

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