EU carbon price increases

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London - European Union carbon permits advanced to their highest since February 6 as the environment committee of the bloc’s parliament prepares to vote on a measure to temporarily cut supply of the certificates.

EU allowances for December rose as much as 4.9 percent to 4.70 euros ($6.32) a metric ton and were at 4.67 euros at 12:21 p.m. on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. United Nations Certified Emission Reduction credits for December fell 2 cents to 33 euro cents a ton.

The European Parliament committee is set to vote February 19 on a proposal designed to allow the bloc to postpone the sale of 900 million tons of allowances until the end of the decade in a process known as backloading.

The price of the permits plunged 30 percent this year and reached a record 2.81 euros a ton last month as Europe’s sputtering economy curbed demand for the contracts.

Carbon is rising as traders anticipate support for the supply reduction at next week’s vote, Matthew Gray, an analyst in London at Jefferies Group Inc., said today in an e-mailed research note.

The entire parliament will vote on the measure later this year. The proposal must also clear the Climate Change Committee of national-government representatives, which is probably the most difficult test of support, Gray said.

Additional sales of 100 million tons of EU carbon from a so-called new-entrant reserve that was set aside to raise funds for clean-energy projects may erode any upside from mending the glut, he said.

Today’s price rise “will likely prove vacuous,” he said. - Bloomberg

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