Norway to Buy Carbon Emission Credits From Clean-Energy Projects

Norway plans to buy carbon credits from emissions-cutting projects in developing and developed countries that may have to stop operating due to the low prices for the offsets they generate.

The nation may purchase as many as 30 million United Nations Certified Emission Reductions and Emission Reduction Units for the period from 2013 through 2020, the ministry of finance said in a statement. The credits have fallen as much as 99 percent since 2008, prices on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London show.

Investors in greenhouse-gas-reduction projects earn carbon credits that they can sell to more than 12,000 factories and power stations in Europe as well as 37 developed countries that have carbon-emission caps under the Kyoto Protocol. Norway will buy “from stranded UN-approved projects facing a risk of discontinuation due to the low CER prices,” the ministry said.

“Norway will buy eligible credits, which means verified UN-approved emission reductions that can be used for compliance with Norway’s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol and any relevant successors,” Kjetil Lund, a state secretary at the finance ministry, said in an e-mailed response to questions. “Both CERs and ERUs from stranded projects are applicable.”

Benchmark CERs were trading at 60 euro cents a metric ton on ICE Futures Europe in London today. The contracts traded as high as $23.38 a ton in July 2008.

The Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period ended last year and the second period, which runs from 2013 through 2020, has yet to be ratified by most nations.

The Nordic Environment Finance Corp., the regional environmental bank, will act as purchasing agent for the nation, Lund said.

Calls to Nefco in Helsinki for comment weren’t immediately answered.

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