Luxembourg - European Union (EU) regulators lost a court appeal over their power to set carbon-dioxide emissions limits on energy firms and manufacturers in Poland and Estonia. The court said the European Commission “exceeded its powers by imposing on Poland and Estonia a ceiling on greenhouse gas allowances”, according to a statement from the European Court of Justice.
This confirmed rulings from a lower court, which in 2009 overturned the EU’s decisions to award 73% of the allowances demanded by Poland and 52% of those Estonia requested for the 2008–2012 trading period. Yesterday’s decision from the region’s top court won’t change the emission caps for the two countries in the current phase of the trading system because Poland and Estonia already agreed with the commission on the limits they challenged.
The commission, the EU’s regulatory arm, has repeatedly said any revisions to the carbon permit national allocation plans may turn out even smaller than those approved in 2007 as they would have to take into account the recent economic slowdown, which has curbed industrial discharges. Poland ended the legal battle with the EU in April 2010, agreeing that its annual limit of 208.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide should remain unchanged. Estonia won the EU’s approval in December for an increase of the annual limit to 13.3 million tonnes from 12.7 million.