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Investing in greenhouse fund

October 7, 2004, 15:15 CEST

USD 2.5 million is being invested by Statoil in a fund which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by supporting projects in developing countries.

Established last year by the World Bank, the Community Development Carbon Fund (CDCF) has a particular focus on combating poverty.

“Such projects not only cut emissions cost-effectively but also benefit the recipients,” explains Nina Koch, Statoil’s project manager for emission trading. “That in turn contributes to sustainable development.”

Statoil has already committed USD 10 million to the World Bank’s Prototype Carbon Fund established in 2000, bringing its total investment in such ventures to almost NOK 100 million.

With a current capitalisation of USD 42 million, the CDCF requires that the projects it supports yield social benefits for the local host communities.

Of its 25-30 planned schemes, 25 per cent are in the world’s poorest nations. They include a number of biogas plants in Nepal to replace more polluting energy sources for households.

The CDFC was established on the basis of the green development mechanisms enshrined in the Kyoto protocol, which allow credits to be earned by achieving emission cuts in developing countries.

These credits can be applied in turn to meet the requirement for greenhouse gas reductions imposed by the protocol on a number of industrial countries, including Norway.

The European Union has resolved that green development mechanisms can be used in addition to emission trading from next year.

Other CDFC participants include the Italian, Canadian, Dutch and Austrian governments as well as Daiwa Securities, BASF, Nippon Oil, Okinawa Electric, Idemitsu Oil, Endesa, Swiss Re and KfW.

“We regard emission credits as an interesting and cost-effective way of reducing the volume of greenhouse gases released,” says Ms Koch.

“We’ll be continuing to pursue this approach, not least through our own projects.”