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Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein to join EU emissions trading system

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(BRUSSELS) - Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein are to link up with the European Union's carbon dioxide emissions trading system, in the first international agreement of its kind, the EU Commission announced Friday.

The move is part of the EU's efforts to set up a global carbon market.

"It is a major step towards a global carbon market and sends an important message in view of the negotiations in Bali later this year" where global climate change talks will be held, Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said.

For nations or regions to join the EU's scheme, their systems must be mandatory and set absolute limits on emissions, as well as have robust registry systems and strict monitoring and compliance measures in place.

The Commission will next examine carbon dioxide allocation plans submitted by the three, as it has done with the 27 EU nations for the 2008-2012 period.

The plans set quotas for energy intensive industries, including coal-fired power plants, paper mills and steel works, which are blamed for around half of Europe's carbon dioxide emissions.

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