13 May 2010, 23:46 CET
(SOFIA) - Bulgaria will likely be suspended from carbon emissions trading as of June 30 for failing to comply with UN recommendations, Environment Minister Nona Karadzhova said Thursday.
The UN Compliance Committee of the Kyoto Protocol has taken a preliminary decision to revoke Bulgaria's accreditation to trade in carbon emissions, which is likely to be definitively confirmed on June 30, the minister said.
Bulgaria's previous government had not complied with the committee's recommendations to bring its system for recording greenhouse gas emissions up to scratch, she said, blasting the previous administration for its "criminal inaction."
The ruling will deprive Bulgaria of its right to sell an annual 40 million surplus sovereign pollution rights under Kyoto -- known as Assigned Amount Units or AAUs -- which were expected to generate up to 500 million leva (250 million euros) and which the government was counting on to battle the budget deficit.
It would also jeopardise companies' trading of surplus carbon credits -- the so-called EU Allowances (EUAs) -- which the European Commission just approved in late April.
Karadzhova expressed hopes Thursday that industries would be able to trade at least some of their surplus carbon credits by June 30, when the ban would come into force.
The government, however, would not be able to do this as parliament has yet to pass key legislation regulating carbon trade.
Karadzhova said she hoped to restore the country's accreditation as early as November.
Under the Kyoto Protocol, Bulgaria agreed to cut its CO2 emissions by 8.0 percent compared to their 1988 level and emit no more than 130 million tonnes of CO2 a year.