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Chile kicks off global carbon market

June 18, 2003, 17:00 CEST

The first verified climate gas emissions credits in the developing world were delivered Tuesday to buyers.

A ceremony in Chile, presided over by the country's chief Kyoto Protocol negotiator, Ramiro Riobo, and the executive director of Chile's environment ministry, Gianni López Ramirez, was attended by representatives of the World Bank, and Western governments and companies, including Hydro.

"The event today can be described as historic for many reasons," says Hydro Energy environmental portfolios department head Liv Rathe, who witnessed the handing over of credits from the Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF) to buyers in Chile's capital city Santiago.

"This follows the rules laid out by the Kyoto Protocol regarding certification and the size of emissions reductions. After one year, a system of accounting will be launched concerning how many carbon credits can be purchased," she says.

The project for which credits are being purchased is a hydro-power "run-of-the-river" plant that doesn't generate carbon dioxide emissions. Calculations are done in relation to comparable electricity volumes produced by a coal-fired electricity plant. When production data has been in existence for one year, a more precise calculation of the difference in CO2 emissions can be made.

There are a total of 23 owners in the Prototype Carbon Fund, with the majority of them represented in Chile. In addition to Hydro, participants include Norwegian oil company Statoil and Norway's Foreign Ministry.