This week the EU will reveal new allocations for the next phase of the Europe-wide greenhouse gas emissions trading, a market worth 12 billion Euros and covering 11,000 installations throughout Europe.

Since it was introduced many people have argued that the emission caps are too high in the scheme. Now some of Europe’s most influential banks have written to European Commission president José Manuel Barroso, urging him to reduce the caps by more than 10 per cent.

European Carbon Investors and Services (Ecis), a group of 13 investment banks, including ABN Amro, Barclays Capital and Deutsche Bank, as well as the carbon emissions exchange Climate Change Capital and four other businesses, have told Mr Barroso that the limits requested by EU states are currently too high.

On Wednesday, Mr Barroso will chair a Commission meeting on the amount of carbon emissions member states’ industries should be allowed between 2008 and 2012. Ecis said a lack of meaningful data prevented the last round of negotiations from producing useful limits

“Now there is adequate data … the Commission must stand firm, despite political pressure from its member states to back off,” a spokesman for Ecis said. “This will help create a realistic price for carbon which will be sufficient to reward investors in clean technologies.”