EU’s ‘carbon fat cats’ get rich off trading scheme

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Europe’s system for industrial carbon quotas has enriched the continent’s biggest polluters, with ten firms together reaping permits for 2008 alone worth 500 million euros, a new report revealed.

Dominated by steel and cement makers, the same “carbon fat cats” stand to collect surplus CO2 permits that — at current market rates — could be worth 3.2 billion euros (4.3 billion dollars) by 2012, it said.

This is roughly equivalent to the entire EU investment in renewable energy and clean technology under its economic recovery plan, according to Sandbag, a non-profit group in Britain that analyzes carbon market policy.

Full story: EU’s ‘carbon fat cats’ get rich off trading scheme: study