The European Commission said on Thursday (20 November) it has temporarily suspended emissions trading system processes related to Britain as from 1 January next year until there is clarity on the terms of the country’s departure from the EU.
As a result, from 1 January Britain will not be able to auction carbon permits, allocate them for free to operators, or exchange international credits for as long as the suspension remains in place, the Commission said.
“To prevent the temporary issuance and circulation of marked permits until there is clarity on whether or not a withdrawal agreement will be ratified and enter into force, the Commission has decided… to temporarily suspend the acceptance by the Union Registry of all processes for the UK relating to free allocation, auctioning and the exchange of international credits,” the Commission said in a statement.
From January, any carbon permits issued by Britain will have to be identified by a country code (“marked”).
We have started implementing our #Brexit “no deal” Contingency Action Plan.
It includes 14 specific, temporary measures in a limited number of areas such as financial services, air transport customs and climate to avoid major disruption for the EU27 → https://t.co/wMTRcj5MZD pic.twitter.com/Ur6lqZjmXH
— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) December 19, 2018
The Commission said the transfers of permits already in circulation in and out of accounts held by UK operators will not be affected by the suspension.
Britain already said on Wednesday that it will not be auctioning permits in the first quarter next year.
If a withdrawal agreement on Britain’s exit from the EU is ratified the suspension will be lifted, the Commission said.
This amendment to the Registry Regulation has been submitted to the European Parliament and the European Council for approval.