Czechs oppose EU carbon auctioning plan
The Czech Republic may block the European Commission's plan to auction carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions permits to energy companies after 2012, government officials said on Tuesday.
The Commission, the EU's executive branch, introduced a plan last month to cut CO2 emissions after 2012.
Under the current trading system, companies are granted some emissions permits for free, but in future they will have to buy all the allowances, increasing their costs significantly.
Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek told an energy conference in Prague the plan would harm the Czech energy sector and undermine necessary investments into ageing power plants. He called for gradual implementation of the changes.
"Until then (2013) we will not be able to carry out the key investments, we would withdraw more money from the sector," Topolánek said.
"I want to promise that I will do my best not to back down (in opposition to the plan)," he added.
High-emission coal plants make up for more than half of Czech electricity production.
Industry Minister Martin Riman said he would propose that the government blocks the plan in the EU.
"The French, who make 80 percent (of their electricity) in nuclear plants, do not care," Riman told Reuters.
"I think this is absolutely fundamental, we cannot accept the proposal of 100 percent auctioning," he added.
Via The Guardian