New data released today from the European Commission find the emissions covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) were 1.7 billion tonnes in 2011, down 2.45% on the previous year. This reduction is unlikely to be a result of the ETS which, including auctions, assigned 163 million excess carbon allowances in 2011, and is most likely a reflection of lower than expected economic output and other climate policies.

This brings the total surplus accrued by the ETS over the current carbon budget to 355 million allowances with auctions included.