"There is a great deal of misinformation and exaggeration concerning the surplus allowances which the steel industry may have in the second trading period of the ETS which runs from 2008-2012. This misinformation has unfortunately been expressed by Commissioner Hedegaard herself and other sources, notably NGOs".

George Moffat Director General of European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries (Eurofer)

Here at Sandbag we could not help but take an interest in the latest news that last year Arcelor Mittal made €103million from the sale of carbon permits. This follows earlier sales of €108 million over 2008-9. Kaching indeed! But there will be plenty more where that came from. Sandbag estimates that Arcelor Mittal has a 2008-2009 surplus of 50.5 million carbon permits with an estimated value of €706 million. Loose change, perhaps, for a company which in 2010 had a turnover of €49 billion, but not bad considering the permits were allocated for free.

Like George, Sandbag is keen to avoid to misinformation and exaggeration which is why we are so keen on the data. The graph below illustrates Arcelor Mittal’s carbon emissions and allocation of carbon permits. Even when you take into account the recession, the potential to increase production and the need to protect competitiveness… you can’t help get the impression that some companies were simply given far too many free permits…

Mittal Graph