EU Suspends Carbon Trading After Almost $38 Million Stolen

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The most recent theft of almost US$38 million in EU Emission Trading System carbon credits may shift political support in favor of centralization and abolition of national registries.

On January 20, 2011, the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU) in charge of overseeing the Emission Trading System (ETS), suspended all spot-trading activity on that carbon emissions market after determining US$37.7 million worth of credits may have been stolen. The EU suspects the fraud occurred because of insufficient network security on the national carbon registries for Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece and Poland. Maria Kokkonen, spokeswoman for the EU’s Climate Action Commissioner, announced that spot-trading will be suspended until all countries participating in the ETS provide the commission with independent reports confirming network security system upgrades.

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