08 APR 2011
By Andrew Willis
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The European Union has signaled its desire to link the bloc's emissions trading scheme (ETS) with a similar system in California, due to open next year.
EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard has been in California this week to discuss the idea with state governor Jerry Brown and Californian Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nicholls.
The californian scheme is set to be the second largest of its kind, after the EU's, and comes after attempts to create a national US trading scheme were rejected by the country's senate.
In December, EU member states mandated the commission to starts negotiations on linking the EU's ETS with a similar system in Switzerland, but the California hook-up would be considerably bigger.
Transactions on the EU ETS were valued at roughly €72 billion in 2010, with Energy analysts Point Carbon predicting the California cap and trade scheme could be worth €7 billion by 2016.
The EU is keen that the two schemes be sufficiently compatible however, along with others currently being developed around the world.
"We told Governor Brown that we would very much like to co-operate with them so that no matter how California constructs their scheme, it is linkable to the way we do things in Europe," Hedegaard said, reports the Guardian newspaper.
"It doesn't have to be identical, just compatible," she added.
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