Data published by the European Commission has shown that the total number of surplus emission allowances across 23 European countries in 2005 was 81.9 million.

Platts reports that the European emissions trading scheme involved the production 1.983 billion metric tons of CO2 in 2005 against a target of 2.065 billion mt.

Only seven of the 23 countries involved in the scheme exceeded their permitted allocation, with the UK overshooting by the largest amount, at 33.06 million mt.

The emissions trading scheme has been criticized recently for its failure to force industry in many European countries to curb their pollution. Critics argue that many states were deliberately lenient in setting their allocations, thereby ensuring that business would not need to buy additional credits to cover their emissions.