UN-approved carbon offsets up for grabs

A leading carbon trading company has become one of the first to offer UN-regulated carbon credits for companies voluntarily trying to offset their emissions.

Carbon Capital Markets announced this week that it has begun selling the Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) to a wider market.

Industry experts say the move should begin to drive up the price of carbon credits and create more of an incentive for heavy industry - which has to buy the credits to comply with emissions caps - to reduce its carbon footprint.

The CERs, which are Kyoto-compliant, finance United Nations-approved projects in developing countries set up under the Clean Development Mechanism to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

Carbon Capital Markets has already seen demand for the CERs from a wide range of businesses such as food and drinks manufacturers and healthcare companies, as well as organisations such as universities.

Lionel Fretz, chief executive officer of Carbon Capital Markets, said: "We have seen unprecedented demand from businesses who recognise that consideration of climate change is vital when seeking to maintain brand value.

"They also realise that Kyoto-compliant offset products are a valuable part of that, and of a wider environmental strategy to reduce emissions.

"We can now ensure that the voluntary demand for Certified Emissions Reductions is met."

Earlier this year a UK Government consultation on a code of practice for carbon offsets recommended the use of Kyoto-compliant credits because they have to meet strict international standards.

All the projects are carefully audited and independently examined to ensure the stated emission reductions have been achieved.

After companies have purchased the CERs, Carbon Capital Markets cancels them for its clients to ensure they cannot be used again.

Kate Martin



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