Japan to Buy Czech Carbon Credits

Achieving a 24% reduction in carbon emission instead of the 8% required, the government is selling some of its 150 million units of carbon credits.

Japan signed a deal on Sept. 23 to buy some of the Czech Republic's unused carbon credits, the Prague environment ministry announced. The exact volume of credits purchased by Japan will be agreed at a later date, the CTK news agency added -- with the ministry identifying Austria, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain as other countries interested in buying its credits.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, negotiated at a 1997 climate-change summit in Japan, Prague is committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 8%, from 1990 levels, by 2012. It has already reduced these by 24%, giving the Czech government 150 million units of carbon credits. It plans to sell one third of these, for an estimated one billion euros (US$1.47 billion.)

Japan's cabinet agreed in July to step up carbon trading and research into carbon-capture technology, harnessing greenhouse gases emitted by power plants and factories and storing them underground. It also agreed to increase the use of solar power, while forging ahead with plans to build nine more nuclear reactors by March 2018.

Leaders of the G8 -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the U.S. -- agreed at their July summit in Japan to cut carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2050.

In December 2007, Japan signed a similar deal to the Prague accord with Hungary.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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