March 26, 2012 / 3:35 PM / in 6 years

French bank sees EU's CO2 emissions flat in 2011

PARIS (Reuters) - Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the European Union from firms operating under its emissions trading scheme (ETS) should have been stable in 2011, the head of research at state-owned bank Caisse des Depots’ subsidiary CDC Climat said on Monday.

The European Commission will release preliminary emissions data for 2011 from firms operating under ETS on April 2.

“We expect (CO2) emissions to stagnate in 2011 at 1,918 million tonnes,” Emilie Alberola, head of research at CDC Climat, which is charged with finding economic tools to fight climate change, told Reuters.

Emissions in 2010 stood at 1,916 million tonnes, up 2.5 percent on the previous year, she added.

“We observed a very mixed trend in the EU as the steel and cement industries suffered in 2011 but the power sector did quite well,” Alberola added.

The ETS covers industrial sectors that emit the most CO2 but the scheme is being questioned because carbon prices have hit record lows in the past few months, beset by Europe’s economic turmoil and uncertainty about a future global climate pact.

The world’s biggest carbon market is over supplied with hundreds of millions of permits because of low demand.

Other analysts have previously said emissions would grow slightly in 2011, between zero and 2.4 percent, due to softer industrial production in the fourth quarter of last year, milder weather and heavier investment in renewables.

Deutsche Bank said on Monday it expects 2011 emissions to increase by 1.3 percent to 1,963 million tonnes.

In May, the Commission will publish its final data on 2011 emissions. Last year, data showed emissions rose 3.2 percent in 2010.

Reporting By Muriel Boselli; editing by James Jukwey

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