The EU’s main scheme for reducing CO2 emissions is almost never enforced, according to an official report by Brussels’ own spending watchdog.
Only one EU country inspected – Britain – makes on-the-spot visits to factories to check whether they are staying within their carbon limits under the scheme, the EU Court of Auditors found. Even the UK only checks 1 per cent of sites, down from 5 per cent before.
The auditors also said that attempts to stamp out endemic fraud in the EU’s flagship Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), from which billions of pounds of “carbon credits” have been stolen by criminals, are “not adequate” and continue to leave “significant security weaknesses.”
The verdicts will be deeply embarrassing on the eve of the United Nations climate summit in Paris, where European leaders will claim the ETS as their flagship achievement to tackle climate change.
“The truth about the ETS is that it has completely failed,” said Raoul Ruparel, deputy director of the Open Europe thinktank.
“It has cost business money and done nothing to reduce CO2. It is based on a fundamentally flawed premise and as the latest report shows, all attempts to fix it are doomed. It is a hopeless case to take to Paris next week.” …