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Global Carbon Market Hits 22 Billion Dollars

"Clean energy is clearly benefiting from the carbon market," - Joelle Chassard.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Oct 26, 2006
The global market in carbon emissions has doubled from 2005 levels to stand at nearly 22 billion dollars so far this year, the World Bank said Thursday. "All the data show that the carbon market is becoming a powerful financial force supporting clean development," said Karan Capoor, co-author of a new World Bank report on emissions trading.

In the first nine months of 2006, the carbon market grew to 21.47 billion dollars, compared to just under 11 billion recorded in all of 2005.

The European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) dominated the market in terms of value, accounting for nearly 19 billion dollars of the total carbon market's worth.

The landmark ETS was launched at the beginning of 2005 to help EU member states meet their greenhouse gas emissions targets under the Kyoto Protocol, which is meant to tackle global warming.

The aim of the scheme is to encourage industrial polluters to reduce their emissions. In exchange, they can sell any unused quotas to companies that have surpassed their allowances.

A broader Kyoto scheme called the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows industrialised nations to earn carbon credits by investing in clean technologies in the developing world.

Up to the end of September, Asian countries accounted for 84 percent of total volumes in the CDM market. China was home to 60 percent of the scheme's projects and India was next with 15 percent.

"Clean energy is clearly benefiting from the carbon market," said Joelle Chassard, manager of the World Bank's carbon finance unit.

"But its true potential for sustainable development can only be realized if there is a strong policy signal for its continuation into the longer term."

The World Bank report noted that the future is unclear after the 2008-2012 period of commitments covered by the Kyoto pact. And the United States and Australia have refused to ratify Kyoto as it stands.

But the report welcomed "noteworthy" developments in carbon trading outside the Kyoto agreement, including gas emissions trading in California and northeastern US states.

In another study this week, the World Bank said that global warming caused by rapid deforestation could be curbed if developing countries were paid the proper rewards for maintaining their woodland.

The report noted that the world's forests are disappearing at a rate of five percent a decade as woodland is cleared for timber and production of in-demand commodities like beef, coffee and soybeans.

But the land would have far more value if the forests were preserved and developing countries were then rewarded on global carbon markets.

Overall, developing countries need to be encouraged with financial help and expertise to share in the benefits of carbon trading, according to Andrei Marcu, executive director of the International Emissions Trading Association.

"It is a real change in terms of the availability of finance to address environmental problems in developing countries," he said in the latest World Bank evaluation Thursday.

"We will continue to work to ensure that all countries benefit equally from carbon finance and that projects have a strong sustainable development component, especially on the energy side."

Source: Agence France-Presse

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China Lowers Target For Renewable Energy
Beijing (AFP) Oct 26, 2006
China has lowered its goal for renewable energy production but its targeted investment of 1.5 trillion yuan (187 billion dollars) in the sector remains unchanged, state press reported Thursday. The target of 20 percent renewable energy sources by 2020 has been cut to 16 percent, the China Daily said, citing Wu Guihui, a leading energy official at the ministry-level National Development and Reform Commission.

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