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Carbon Scam: Bulgaria Suspended From CO2 Emissions Trading

Bulgaria will be suspended from carbon emissions trading under the Kyoto Protocol as a result of poor transparency and untrustworthiness, the country’s environment minister said on 13 May. The decision represents a heavy blow for the government in Sofia, which expected to receive €250m in revenue from the scheme this year, according to Dnevnik, EurActiv’s partner publication in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria will be suspended from the scheme as of 30 June if a United Nations’ committee revokes its accreditation under the treaty. A formal decision is expected by the end of June. Environment Minister Nona Karadzhova said there was no chance of any reversal.

The suspension, which is expected to last until at least November, comes after UN checks had shown that Bulgaria’s national system for recording greenhouse gas emissions, which is key for ensuring compliance under Kyoto, was not transparent and trustworthy, Karadzhova explained.

She said the ban would prevent Bulgarian companies from trading on greenhouse gas emission schemes under Kyoto, and would also affect their participation in the European Union’s emissions trading scheme (EU-ETS).

“The UN Convention report is devastating. We are likely to lose our accreditation as of 30 June, due to the criminal inaction of the previous government,” Karadzhova said.

Over 130 Bulgarian companies, which waited for over two years to begin trading under the ETS, will now only be able to sell their free quotas until 30 June. The government will most likely not receive a single euro of the so-called Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) that it has accumulated, Dnevnik writes.

The news comes as a heavy blow for the Bulgarian government, which had earmarked €500m of such revenue for financing anti-crisis measures.

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