20 November 2008

Government raises £54m by auctioning extra carbon-emmission permits

The Treasury has raised €64.6m (£54m) at its first auction of carbon emissions permits, pushing up the price of the credits by 23 cents (19p) per tonne on the European markets yesterday.

By Rowena Mason, Telegraph.co.uk, 19 Nov 2008

Energy producers and other companies anxious to increase their allowances made more than 16m bids for just 4m credits offered at a price of €16.15 per tonne.

Buyers who bid at the offered price received 17.5pc of the credits requested, those who bid significantly higher received all their credits and those who bid lower received nothing.

The price for one tonne of carbon emissions rose 1.39pc to €16.78 on the European futures market following the auction, which was open to participants globally

The Government can sell 10pc of its allocated EU carbon permits, after distributing the rest for free among energy companies.

Officials confirmed there are plans to sell 25m credits next year, paving the way for all permits to be traded by auction by 2013.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said it would not ringfence the money raised for environmental projects, prompting criticism that the auction is just another form of taxation.

"Someone else is paying and the Government doesn't even have to argue that taxation has increased," said Per Lekander, an analyst at UBS.

Estimates suggest auction revenue could make €70bn annually for all the EU states by 2020.

"Auctioning is seen as a way of killing windfall profits, particularly in the electricity sector," said Andreas Arvanitakis, an analyst at Point Carbon.

© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2008

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