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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union must agree by the end of this year on a stop-gap measure to tackle the virtual collapse of its main instrument for cutting carbon emissions, the bloc's climate boss said on Wednesday.

Allowances on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) sank below 8 euros a metric ton (1.1023 tons), down more than 6 percent on the day, reflecting trader disappointment Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard's statement on Wednesday did not go further.

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