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Italy stands to waste €2.2 billion on foreign carbon credits between 2008 and 2012 according to a new report from the emissions trading NGO Sandbag.

The government’s attempts to shield Italian companies from reducing their emissions in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will mean €1.7 billion in taxpayers’ money will need to be spent on foreign carbon credits if the country is to meet its obligations under the UN Kyoto Protocol. In addition, Italian companies in the ETS are expected to spend a further €500 million in private funds outsourcing their carbon reductions overseas rather than investing at home.