European Union law allows regulators to delay sales of some permits in the bloc’s carbon market as of next year, equipping them with a tool to curb oversupply, according to a leading emissions lawyer.
In any proposal to postpone carbon auctions the European Commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm, would need to define the quantity of allowances to be sold at a later date, the distribution per member state and possibly a new timeline for introducing them to the market, according to Mihalis Kritikos, an expert in the EU law at White & Case legal practice in Brussels. The commission has said it’s working on a draft measure to delay auctions after carbon prices slumped to a record low earlier this year.
“There is nothing in the Emissions Trading System directive that prevents the implementation of a measure to set aside allowances by postponing the auctioning of some of the allowances,” Kritikos said by e-mail today.
Comments by Kritikos, who worked as a legal adviser to the commission before joining White & Case and has taught EU law courses at the London School of Economics, contradict the analysis of the Polish government, according to which the European legislation doesn’t allow withholding carbon permits from the market.