Companies regulated by the EU ETS have converted 970,000 Kyoto Protocol carbon credits to EUAs since May 2015, the European Commission said late on Friday.
This was a fraction of the 24.5 million exchanged during the same period in 2014, and the 229.3 million converted between Nov. 2014 and May. 2015.
As of Oct. 31, a total 387.64 million credits have been exchanged into EU Allowances since the functionality was introduced in the EU’s online emissions registry in Mar. 2014.
Emitters covered by the EU’s carbon market are allowed to use CERs or ERUs to cover a small portion of their emissions, but they must first convert the credits into EUAs.
And under rules that came into effect earlier this year, any credits to be used from this year must have been generated post-2012, the start of Kyoto’s second commitment period.
Analysts estimate that around 140 million credits can be used between 2015 and 2020 by companies that have not already exhausted their EU ETS usage quotas, which works out to just over 20 million per year.
Friday’s figures may point to a low level of Kyoto credit conversions in 2015, which could indicate that the firms that still hold this option may seek to delay using it until the end of the third trading phase, when EUA prices are estimated to be near or above €20.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org