Japan utility to buy carbon credits from China hydropower

Japan’s largest utility says it will buy greenhouse gas emission credits from a Chinese hydroelectric project under the United Nations scheme to help slow global warming.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which accounts for about 10 percent of Japan’s total greenhouse gas output, will buy 920,000 tons of carbon dioxide emission credits from November 2007 to December 2012 from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project run by Gansu Mingzhu Hydropower Development Co.

Gansu Mingzhu is building a 51.5-MW hydropower plant in China’s Gansu Province. It is to sell electricity to a local utility. The hydro project is to displace use of fossil fuels for thermal power generation, thus reducing emissions of by-product greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

TEPCO declined to give the value of the carbon credits.

Under the Kyoto Protocol scheme, developed countries and companies with U.N. emission caps can reduce carbon emissions either through their own efforts to improve energy efficiency or by buying carbon credits from CDM projects in developing countries.

Japan is under growing pressure to cut more carbon emissions than any other countries under the Kyoto reduction targets.

Japanese firms invest in carbon credits program

Japan’s trade ministry said May 9 it approved the first international projects funded by the World Bank-managed Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF), aimed at helping reduce greenhouse gas as its part of the Kyoto Protocol.

Eight Japanese companies and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), which invest in the PCF, expect to get about 10.7 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions credits through 23 projects the PCF is involved in. The PCF as a whole expects to receive 27.55 million tons in credits through the projects.

Investors in the PCF — which include companies and countries — can use the cuts either to sell them in the open market or count them towards their greenhouse gas emissions targets under the Kyoto Protocol.

The ministry identified the Japanese participants in the fund and their carbon emissions credits in tons: Kyushu Electric Power, 1.2 million; Shikoku Electric Power, 1 million; Chugoku Electric Power, 1 million; Chubu Electric Power, 1.5 million; Tokyo Electric Power, 1.2 million; Tohoku Electric Power, 1.54 million; Mitsui &Co. Ltd., 920,000; Mitsubishi Corp., 770,000; and JBIC, 1.53 million.

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