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Japan Utilities Surrender 57 Million Kyoto Units, Group Says

Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese utilities surrendered 57 million metric tons of emission permits and offsets governed by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol in the year to March, said the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan.

The purchased and then surrendered units enabled power generators to effectively reduce their emissions in the year by 15 percent to 317 million tons of carbon dioxide, the industry association said in a report published yesterday on its website. The report didn’t disclose the portion of Certified Emission Reductions, Emission Reduction Units or Assigned Amount Units bought. FEPC includes Japan’s 10 main utilities.

Those three types of credits and allowances can be used by Japan to comply with its target under the protocol, which is for a 6 percent reduction from 1990 levels in the five years through 2012. There are 37 developed nations with targets.

Mitsuharu Kawabata, a spokesman for the federation, declined to comment on the outlook for emissions cuts. “We want to work hard toward the current goal we have,” he said today by phone.

Japan had 6.085 billion tons of AAUs as of the end of 2010, according to data published on the website of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn. That’s compared with 6.026 billion tons at the end of 2009, indicating the country added 59 million tons last year.

The nation had 102.9 million tons of CERs, compared with 82.7 million a year earlier, indicating it’s buying about three AAUs for each CER. Japan had 2.4 million tons of ERUs at the end of last year, compared with 673,635 tons in 2009, the data show.

Free to Swap

Emitters are free to swap CER credits for cheaper AAUs as the earthquake-stricken country meets mounting costs for complying with the protocol, an official of the nation’s government said in June.

There’s nothing to stop Japanese companies selling CERs they’ve already bought and buying AAUs, said Toshiaki Nagata, a deputy director in the Kyoto Protocol office of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. “It could be a viable thing to do in terms of cost efficiency,” he said.

AAUs, CERs and ERUs are all measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mathew Carr in London at; Chisaki Watanabe in Tokyo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at

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