© Abhishek Singh

News that Volga-Dnepr Airlines received free credits under the UK’s emissions trading scheme a day after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine has bought the ETS under the spotlight.

Volga-Dnepr gained 8,700 free credits on 25 February 2022, thus avoiding a £690,000 bill, according to OpenDemocracy.

Under the ETS, companies must buy a permit, which can be traded in the open market, for each tonne of carbon they emit. But one UK MP asked: “Does the ability to trade these items aid reduction of CO2, or just help companies on the government handout list?”

Another said: “Not one penny of UK taxpayers’ money should be subsidising the fossil-fuelled interests of foreign dictators – the Emissions Trading Scheme’s free pollution permits need urgently investigating.”

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