On April 17, the Compliance Committee for the Kyoto Protocol imposed two penalties on Greece – it declared that Greece had not complied with its obligations and excluded it from using the emissions trading program until it establishes a reliable system. I believe that can’t happen before the fall. The second penalty means Greece can’t buy or sell emission rights. Even though the government has no intention of doing so at present, the European Commission’s legal service is investigating the consequences – apart from the embarrassment – for the EC and for the installations included in Europe’s trading system. The legality of any transactions at this time will be in doubt, with a corresponding effect on their value. The risk is greater with regard to buying and selling rights from projects in developing countries. Dimitris Lalas is an environmental engineer.