Four million carbon allowances were sold at about $80 million, at $20 per carbon allowance. The European Union puts a cap on the emissions of about 12,000 installations throughout the EU, including the energy and heavy industrial sectors, which, together, are responsible for close to half of the EU's carbon dioxide emissions.
"Today's first Phase II auction demonstrates continued U.K. leadership in reducing carbon emissions as part of the fight against dangerous climate change. The EU is central to keeping the price of tackling climate change as low as possible to industry and the economy," said Mike O'Brien, energy and climate change minister of state.
During 2009 the government plans to auction 25 million allowances, and the dates for those upcoming auctions will be announced at a later date.