EU Member State experts on February 2 approved a proposal on how to use 300 million emission allowances from the EU Emission Ttrading Systems ‘new entrants reserve’ to finance projects in renewables and CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage). The final adoption of the decision, expected in May, will see billions in EU funding allocated to the development of clean technologies. The European Commission will dedicate  300 million allowances at European level, which will be sold by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and then distributed to support projects in Member States.  however Member States rejected a proposal to match every euro taken from EU funds, expressing concerns of  member states of Central and Eastern Europe.  Member States also  introduced more flexibility to the allocation process by allowing each country to host a maximum of three projects instead of the Commission’s proposed two. In any case, each country is entitled to at least one project.

MEP Chris Davies (ALDE, UK), rapporteur  of  the CCS proposal in the European Parliament, described the approval as ” the largest single financial support mechanism for carbon capture and storage anywhere in the world”. “Obviously it’s combined with renewables, but one assumes that significantly more than half will go to CCS, and I think that is a hugely important development,” he said.The CCS funding is aimed at accelerating investment so that the EU can reach its goal of having up to 12 CCS demonstration plants up and running by 2015.