EU states divided over climate emission trading

UK, Germany, lead early opposition to Commission plan for mandatory inclusion from 2005

EU ministers are divided over whether to make an industrial carbon dioxide emissions trading scheme mandatory or voluntary for businesses during a preliminary three-year lead-in phase from 2005, it emerged from yesterday's environment council meeting in Brussels.

Environment ministers were debating for the first time a key European Commission proposal to help the EU comply with its greenhouse gas reduction targets under the Kyoto protocol. A formal agreement is not expected until next year.

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