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Falling carbon prices raise questions about energy policy

The European Union's cap-and-trade system was supposed to wean industry off fossil fuels by making companies pay for the carbon emissions they produce. But with companies having cut production in response to weak economic conditions, many firms have more carbon credits than they need. On the positive side, this has helped them weather the slowdown – some have even made money selling spare credits – but the lack of demand has pushed down the price of carbon from €30 per ton a few years ago to around €5 per ton today.

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