Bulgaria drafts gas emissions proposal to meet EU rules

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria has drawn up a draft proposal to curb greenhouse gas emissions under an EU-wide trading scheme it hopes to join next year, a senior Environment Ministry official said on Wednesday. Under the draft proposal, the EU aspirant aims to set an emission quota for factories and power stations of 50.7 million tons of CO2 for 2007. The limit will gradually increase from 53 million tons in 2008 to 67.8 million in 2012. The draft is pending government approval. After that the Balkan country will send its 2007 plan to the European Commission for approval next month, and for the 2008-2012 period in June, paving the way for Bulgaria’s entry into the EU emission trading scheme. «The allocation limit represents 61.5 percent of the total emissions for the country for 2007,» said Ivona Grozeva, a senior official in charge of climate issues at the ministry. That might rise to 65 percent due to later registered or unknown industries, she said. Bulgarian companies will be able to trade excess emissions if they do not fill their quotas. Grozeva said the ministry had based the 2007 limit on the actual emissions of Bulgarian industries from 2000 to 2004 and on forecasts for future emissions. Sofia is set to join the scheme next January, when it hopes to become an EU member. It could face a one-year delay in EU entry if it does not complete a list of reforms but can still join the trading scheme if it signs a contract with the bloc.