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EU, Kyoto carbon registries to connect on Oct 16

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Nearly all carbon emissions trading registries in the European Union and under the Kyoto Protocol will link on Oct. 16, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

The link will allow European companies participating in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) to import cheaper carbon offsets issued to clean energy projects registered under Kyoto’s Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation schemes.

These offsets, which mainly come from projects in China, India and Latin America, can then be used to meet emissions targets under the EU ETS.

“The European Commission, member states and the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are on schedule to complete the live connection between the CITL, the UNFCCC International Transaction Log (ITL) and member state registries,” a Commission statement said.

“The CITL will restart processing transactions at 8:00 a.m. (CEST), on Thursday, 16 October 2008,” it said.

The Commission said all member state registries will be connected on Thursday with the exception of the United Kingdom and Romania, which will remain offline for several more days to allow for the allocation of EU permits, and Belgium and Luxembourg, which are undergoing maintenance until Oct. 20.

The connection has been plagued by technical delays since last year.

“This event finalizes the infrastructure required for successful operation of all flexibility mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol,” Yvo de Boer, the UN’s climate chief, said in a statement.

The UNFCCC also said it plans to link the registries of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and the Ukraine in late October or November.

“At that time almost all industrialized countries with emissions reductions targets under the Kyoto Protocol will have full access to the implementation of market-based mechanisms,” the UN said.