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Climate Change

Tougher EU emissions targets send carbon prices skyrocketing

Cap-and-trade system could cost Japan $24bn annually, analyst says

An oil refinery burns off natural gas.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Prices for greenhouse gas emissions allowances have swelled this year as governments set increasingly ambitious goals to tackle climate change.

The cost of a permit to emit 1 ton of carbon dioxide under the European Union's cap-and-trade system has surged roughly 30% since the end of last year, fueling concerns about a financial burden on companies that risks reducing competitiveness. A similar program in Japan could cost businesses an estimated $24 billion a year.

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