King coal still fired up

Despite the soaring cost of emissions reduction credits, the EU emissions trading scheme has yet to dampen utilities’ demand for coal. But, finds Oliver Holtaway, it may affect their long-term investment decisions

The European emissions trading scheme (ETS), launched in January, adds another layer of complexity to coal trading in Europe. But, perhaps surprisingly, it hasn’t dampened demand for coal so far.

Despite the soaring cost of carbon this year, the use of coal by utilities in Europe has remained constant. In fact, in the UK, it has actually risen since the start of the ETS. UK coal burn for January to May 2005 was up 4.38% on a year-on-year basis, according to figures from Barclays Capital.

The EU

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