LONDON (Reuters) - A surplus of European Union carbon permits for 2014 has gone down by around 0.03 billion to 2.07 billion due to a reduction in auction volumes through a process known as backloading, the European Commission said on Monday.
The EU's executive said the cumulative surplus in permits traded under the bloc's Emissions Trading System (ETS) was slightly reduced to around 2.07 billion for the 2014 compliance year from 2.1 billion.
Backloading started last year and reduces the amount of carbon permits to be auctioned on the market. It was designed to reduce the oversupply of permits which has dragged EU carbon prices down to low levels.
Backloading had "stabilized" the surplus in 2014, the Commission said in a statement.
Last year, the volume of carbon permits auctioned in the market decreased by 400 million due to the start of backloading.
The ETS covers more than 11,000 power plants and manufacturing installations in the 28 EU member states, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, as well as emissions from airlines flying between European airports.
The Commission also confirmed that greenhouse gas emissions regulated under the ETS fell by 4.5 percent last year to 1,812 million tonnes. [ID:nL6N0WY27D]
Only a small number of companies regulated by the ETS - accounting for less than 0.2 percent of emissions - did not report their 2014 emissions by the April 30, 2015 deadline, it added.
(Reporting by Nina Chestney; editing by Susan Thomas)