Companies in Flanders receive emission rights quota

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Energy intensive companies that may need more emission rights will have to buy or trade with other companies.

19 May 2008

FLANDERS - The Flemish government has awarded emissions rights to companies.

A total of 173 energy intensive companies in Flanders have been told what their quota is on greenhouse gas emissions for the next four years.

Flemish Environment Minister Hilde Crevits announced the distribution of greenhouse emission quotas to the companies in Flanders.

The aim of distributing emission rights is to reduce the total emission of greenhouse gases. 

Steel company Arcelor in Ghent was awarded the biggest allowance of greenhouse gas emission, followed by the Total oil refineries, chemical company BASF and the Port of Antwerp.

Companies that want or need more emissions rights will have to buy additional rights.

Since 1 January, there is an internal market within the European Union for the right to emit greenhouse gases. Energy-intensive companies are granted a quota from government officials in each of the member states. Emission rights can be traded with other companies, bought or sold.

The energy intensive companies in Flanders have been allotted 36.8 million emission rights in total.

This is equivalent to roughly as many tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) gas as CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas.

The Flemish government had asked for 39.2 million emission rights. In the end, it was given 36.8 million because all member states were asked to reduce overall emission.

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