EU sticks to carbon reporting deadlines, rejects industry calls

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An EU-wide April 30 deadline for firms to surrender emissions trading system (ETS) carbon allowances will stand, the European Commission said, despite calls from the cement and steel industry to extend it due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Industry, utilities and airlines running flights in Europe must report their ETS emissions for the previous calendar year by 31 March, and surrender enough carbon permits to cover these emissions by 30 April under the bloc’s ETS rules, according to Euractiv.com.

The European Commission said on Thursday (26 March) it recognised that the coronavirus crisis might make it difficult for companies to submit verified emissions reports by the end of March, but the existing rules provide flexibility around this deadline.

National authorities can make a “conservative estimate” of emissions for firms that miss the March deadline, so long as this is done in time for the April compliance deadline, it said. “The Commission underlines the importance of the timely surrender of allowances by the mandatory deadline of 30 April 2020,” it added.

Some industrial lobbies had asked the Commission to delay this year’s carbon market compliance deadlines, arguing that firms were struggling to have a verifier check their reported emissions matched actual production. But the Commission dismissed those calls, saying the existing rules allow for verifiers to check emissions without carrying out site visits under certain conditions.

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