The European Commission Wednesday outlined steps it is taking to shore up the security of its carbon emissions trading system after several of the system's national registries were hit by cyber attacks last month that resulted in the theft of millions of dollars.
The commission last month suspended most transactions in all the European Union emission trading system national registries following several cyber thefts from a number of the registries. Ten registries have been allowed to resume operations after meeting minimum security requirements, the commission said in a statement.
Commission officials said last month that the cyber thefts may have resulted in the loss of as much as 30 million Euros ($41 million), according to the Financial Times.
The EU emission trading system, launched in 2005, is based on a cap and trade system aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The emission trading system allows companies that receive emission allowances to buy and sell them as needed.
During a meeting of the Climate Change Committee, the commission recommended several short-term measures to bolster the emission trading system's security, including regular reviews and updates of registry security plans; strengthening and updating policies related to the opening of registry accounts; cooperation in sharing information about suspicious requests to open accounts; and improved training for registry users.
"The commission has identified a range of actions that member states can already take in the short term to further improve security for example by regularly reviewing security plans, by reinforcing registry account policies and identity checks, by training registry users etc.," European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said in a statement.
Long-term measures proposed by the commission include changes to EU registry regulation, soliciting comment on greater carbon market oversight and engaging in discussions on enhancing security with the relevant stakeholders.