Sofia to challenge EU regulations on carbon dioxide emissions

SOFIA (AFP) – The Bulgarian government will make a legal challenge to a European Commission order to cut carbon dioxide emissions quotas for 2008-2012, Foreign Minister Ivaylo Kalfin said on Friday. «Bulgaria will launch court proceedings at the European Court of Justice as the decision to severely reduce our CO2 quota makes things very difficult for industry,» Kalfin told a press conference. Sofia has said it wants to renegotiate its emissions quota, which the EU slashed by 34.4 percent to 42.3 million tons between 2008 and 2012. Bulgaria argues that the EU failed to take into account that it must use more coal-fired power plants after two reactors at the country’s single nuclear power plant in Kozloduy were shut down at the end of last year. It also says the new quota does not take into account economic growth. Sofia has not received the Commission’s final ruling yet on emission cuts, Environment and Water Minister Dzhevdet Chakarov had told AFP on Wednesday. Bulgaria must however file its suit at the European Court by the end of 2007, he added. «If the Commission’s ruling is positive, we will withdraw our claim,» Chakarov said.