Carbon trading under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is set to belatedly start in the UK over the coming weeks as the government published the carbon allowances for installations covered by Phase I of the ETS.

With the UK Registry operational, those participating in the scheme will be able to access their allowances and operators will be able to begin trading their allowances.

The Emissions Trading Registry records CO2 allowances held in firm’s accounts and permits allowances to be transferred to other accounts both within the UK and in other participating countries.

Margaret Beckett, Secretary of State for Environment, said “I am delighted this Scheme is now going live in the UK. It will become one of the main ways to cut carbon dioxide emissions, while maintaining economic growth.” The UK is still in dispute with the EU over the exact level of emissions allowances that should be issued although the allocations issued to date are not affected by the on-going legal challenge.

Meanwhile, European carbon dioxide prices hit a new record of over €20/tonne on news that Italy had agreed to lower the limit on its CO2 emissions.