February 3, 2020 / 10:13 AM / 16 days ago

Britain to restart carbon permit auctions on March 4: EU Commission

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is expected to restart auctions of European Union carbon permits on March 4, the European Commision said, following a hiatus of more than a year due to uncertainty over Brexit.

The auction volumes for calendar years 2019 and 2020 will be spread over 2020, the Commission said.

Despite Britain’s departure from the European Union on Jan. 31 the country remains a member of Europe’s Emissions Trading System during the transition period until the end of the year.

This means its power stations, airlines and factories will still need to comply with regulations under the scheme which charges polluters for each tonne of carbon dioxide they emit.

Britain halted auctions of its carbon permits in late 2018 while Brexit negotiations were ongoing as a no deal Brexit would have seen the country immediately exiting the ETS, meaning the permits would be required.

Auctions of permits for the aviation sector are expected to restart on March 25.

Analysts estimate Britain has around 110 million permits, called EU Allowances, to auction for 2019 and 2020 combined.

The benchmark EU carbon contract was down 2.4% on Monday at 23.30 euros/tonne.

Reporting by Susanna Twidale, editing by Louise Heavens

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