Key 2011 dates for carbon market
• 13 January: UK to auction 4.4m EU allowances (EUAs).
• 21 January: Planned vote in the European Commission's climate committee on the proposal for quality restrictions on certified emission reductions (CERs) from certain industrial gas projects.
• 2 February: The Commission closes its consultation on the review of the EU's market in financial instruments directive (MiFID), which could change the way commodity derivatives are handled. This could affect CO2 allowances, too.
• 7 February: The Commission closes its consultation on "early auctions" of EUAs. This is a step towards deciding when and how EUAs will be sold ahead of 2013, the start date for Phase III.
• 10 February: UK to auction 4.4m EUAs.
• 14-18 February: The UN's executive board meets.
• 1 March: EU countries should have issued EUAs for 2011 to companies' registry accounts by now.
• 10 March: The last UK Phase II auction, selling 4.4m EUAs.
• 7-11 March: The UN's methodologies panel is set to meet, having cancelled its February meeting to clear a backlog of CER issuance. The methodologies panel will lead work on how many CERs hydrofluorocarbon (HFC-23) projects can earn in the future.
• Mid-March: The benchmarks setting out the free allocation of EUAs to industrial plants in Phase III should be adopted, after a three-month scrutiny period in the European Parliament.
• 31 March: Plants should have submitted verified emissions data to the EU by now.
• The Commission is expected to say in early 2011 how the market value for EUAs should be assessed when countries apply for continued free allocation to the power sector in Phase III. Countries will need this information when they draw up the required investment plans, showing that they will spend the market value of the free allocation on clean technologies.
• Estonia plans to have finished negotiations with the Commission over how many EUAs it can hand out for free. The ongoing battle has delayed 2010 issuance by a year. If there is an agreement, Estonia would issue a double batch of EUAs by 1 March.
• The Commission is likely to publish 2010 verified emissions data in early April, after it has received more than 80% of the data to be submitted by plants.
• 30 September: Deadline for countries seeking continued free EUA allocation to the power sector to submit their application to the Commission.
• 30 September: Deadline for all countries to submit their new national implementation measures (NIMs) to the Commission. The NIMs will replace the national allocation plans in Phase III and show how many free EUAs each plant will receive. They will be based on the Phase III cap set out by the Commission.
• 28 November: Countries meet in Durban, South Africa, to negotiate a climate change treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol. This will happen during COP 17, the 17th session of the conference of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a two-week event. Negotiations failed to produce legally binding talks at the two previous summits in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009 and Cancún, Mexico, in 2010.
• The Commission has until the end of 2011 to unveil a legislative proposal on a separate regulatory regime for the carbon market. A white paper was published in December 2010. An impact assessment would precede any legislative proposal, probably in autumn 2011.
• The European Investment Bank should start to sell some of the 300m EUAs set aside for clean technology funding from the Phase III new entrant reserve in 2011, according the Commission. The bank has to start sales within three months of receiving the EUAs in its registry account. Neither the bank nor the Commission wants to say when this will happen, however.
• Hearings in the European Court of Justice of the outstanding appeals from a number of central and east European countries against their national allocation plans. The two previous cases, from Poland and Estonia, triggered a lengthy battle with the Commission over the new number of EUAs to be handed out to these plants. In the case of Estonia, the battle is still not finished.
• Hearing in the European Court of Justice of the appeal launched by US airlines against inclusion in the EU Emissions Trading System as of 2012. It is not guaranteed that this will be heard in 2011. IS
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