(BN) CO2-Market Talks Between EU, Switzerland to Start in Early 2011


CO2-Market Talks Between EU, Switzerland to Start in Early 2011
2010-12-20 15:32:39.320 GMT

By Jonathan Stearns
Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union and Switzerland
will seek to connect their greenhouse-gas markets in a bid to
step up the fight against climate change.
EU governments authorized the start of talks to link the
emissions-trading systems of the 27-nation bloc and Switzerland.
The EU system is the world's biggest greenhouse-gas market.
"Such a link would contribute to the fight against climate
change and increase economic incentives to reduce climate
harming emissions," EU environment ministers said in a
statement released at a meeting today in Brussels. The
negotiations between the European Commission -- the EU's
regulatory arm -- and the Swiss government will begin "early
next year" and aim for "speedy progress," the ministers said.
The EU emissions-trading program is a cornerstone of
efforts to tackle the heat waves, storms and floods tied to
climate change, encompassing companies that range from utility
E.ON AG and oil refiner Royal Dutch Shell Plc to steelmaker
ArcelorMittal and paper producer Stora Enso Oyj. Polluters must
have a permit for each ton of carbon dioxide they emit, with
those that exceed their quotas having to buy more allowances and
businesses that emit less being able to sell their surplus.
By contrast, Switzerland's program is a voluntary
alternative to a domestic fuel tax, according to the EU. The
Swiss system covers energy-related CO2 emissions by around 400
companies, the bloc said.
"Switzerland is currently reforming its emissions-trading
system so as to step up action against climate change and make
it more compatible with the EU's trading system," the bloc
said. The EU program covers about 11,000 installations, extends
to Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein outside the bloc and is due
to add domestic and foreign airlines as of 2012.

For Related News and Information:
Emission market news: NI ENVMARKET <GO>
Top energy stories: ETOP <GO>
European power-markets home page: EPWR <GO>
Economic indicator watch: ECOW EU <GO>
European economic coverage: TNI ECO EU <GO>
Global statistics: STAT <GO>

--Editors: Jennifer M. Freedman, Eddie Buckle

To contact the reporter on this story:
Jonathan Stearns in Brussels at +32-2-285-4300 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
James Hertling at +33-1-5365-5075 or jhertling@bloomberg.net