Cybercrime forces EU to close CO2 bag by next week

Cybercrime forces EU to close CO2 bag by next week

The European exchange for the exchange of rights for the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) will remain closed until next week, following the computer theft of thousands of rights that occurred this week. The reopening takes place only with Member States that comply with the enhanced security rules, established by the EU, from which Portugal must be left out.

A first test is scheduled for today, to take place during a meeting of experts from the European climate change committee, advances Público. According to the newspaper, there are 14 countries that currently do not meet the security levels set in 2010, including Portugal.

In our country, the National Emissions Licensing Register is currently being provided with a double authentication system for transactions. With this system, each operation will have to be reconfirmed using a code sent by SMS to companies, just as it already does for Internet banking operations, explains the same source. However, it is not certain whether it will be operational until the 26th, when the CO2 market reopens.

The European Commission ordered this Wednesday to close the exchange after the theft of 475,000 carbon emission rights was detected, which came from several countries, according to El País. numbers grow to the two million licenses stolen, representing almost 30 million euros, with targets in Romania, Austria, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland and Estonia.

The 1.6 million allowances diverted in November belonged to a Romania cement company and were worth around 24 million euros (15 euros per right), according to the Spanish daily. Six hundred thousand were later recovered in Liechtenstein and «another million has already been bought and sold so many times that it is very fragmented», added the director of the Spanish stock exchange quoted by the newspaper. According to this official, the closing of the market serves to prevent transfers with stolen rights.

The provisional closure only applies to the immediate market («spot»), while the «futures» market remains in operation – in which the transfer of emission rights records only occurs at the end of a certain period.