(BN) CarbonDesk Says Failed to Get U.K. Help on Stolen Carbon Permits


CarbonDesk Says Failed to Get U.K. Help on Stolen Carbon Permits
2011-01-20 13:22:08.102 GMT

By Catherine Airlie
Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- CarbonDesk Ltd., a London-based
broker of emission permits, said it received no help from the
U.K. government after coming into possession of European Union
carbon-dioxide permits stolen from cement maker Holcim Ltd.
The U.K. emissions registry, run by the Environment Agency
"just washes their hands on the issue of stolen credits when it
would be so easy to put a block on tainted credits," Brett
Stacey, CarbonDesk's chief executive officer, said by e-mail
Nathan Fletcher, a spokesman for the Environment Agency,
declined to comment on the stolen EU permits and referred
inquiries to the European Union. The U.K.'s registry "operates
to very high levels of security", Fletcher said. "There have
never been any successful attacks on the U.K. registry."
Traders of emissions permits keep registries, similar to a
bank account, through which carbon allowances are transferred.
CarbonDesk said it had received EU permits into its company
registry with serial numbers matching some of those reported as
stolen from Holcim. The Romanian unit of Jonas, Switzerland-
based Holcim said Nov. 30 that about 15 million euros ($20.2
million) of allowances had been stolen, and it asked the EU to
help track them down.
The EU suspended operations at all 30 of the region's
greenhouse-gas emissions registries yesterday after a Czech firm
reported about 6.8 million euros of allowances stolen in a
hacking attack. Austria said an undisclosed amount of emissions
allowances were improperly transferred last week out of its
national account.
The European emissions trading system, the world's biggest
carbon market, includes the EU's 27 member states as well as
Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It was set up in 2005 as part
of the bloc's efforts to tackle the heat waves, storms and
floods that scientists have linked to emissions of greenhouse

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--With assistance from Zoe Schneeweiss in Vienna and Mathew Carr
in London; Editors: Bruce Stanley, Jonas Bergman

To contact the reporter on this story:
Catherine Airlie in London at +44-20-7073-3308 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Stephen Voss at +44-20-7073-3520 or sev@bloomberg.net