ECONOMY

Trading emissions

Public Power Corporation (PPC), Greece’s state-controlled electricity company, has joined a privately managed emissions-trading scheme that will allow it to reduce compliance costs to Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas emission targets. New York-based Natsource LLC, a provider of asset management services, transaction services and advisory and research services in emissions and renewable energy markets, yesterday announced that it had closed – that is, fully formed, with binding commitments – its Greenhouse Gas Credit Aggregation Pool (GG-CAP) with total commitments of 455 million euros from 26 participants. These participants are mostly electricity companies, from countries such as Ireland, Japan and Norway, but also oil and gas firms, a spirits manufacturer (Japan’s Suntory) and Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. «The GG-CAP is a ‘buyers pool’ that will combine the purchasing power of the 26 participants to acquire and manage the delivery of a large volume of compliance instruments created by the project-based mechanisms included in the Kyoto Protocol. These instruments – formally known as Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), created by Clean Development Mechanism projects (CDM), and Emission Reduction Units (ERUs), created by Joint Implementation projects (JI)- can be used by participants to comply with emissions reduction requirements from 2005-2012 imposed by the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme and by nations such as Canada and Japan seeking to comply with their obligations under the Kyoto Protocol from 2008-2012. According to Natsource estimates, these countries will be approximately 3.75 billion tons short of their Kyoto Protocol emissions-reduction obligations from 2008-2012, based on current emissions trends,» Natsource explained in a statement. «NAMC (Natsource’s Asset Management Subsidiary) will identify, evaluate, purchase, and manage delivery of reductions that buyers can use for compliance. Through the GG-CAP, companies will benefit from pooling large-scale demand to secure cost-effective compliance. They will also gain from GG-CAP’s ability to use active risk management techniques to guard against under-delivery of contracted volumes. These techniques include diversification, reserve margins, risk management contracts and insurance products. They will facilitate the development of a highly valued portfolio of compliance instruments that participants can use as a component of their overall compliance strategies. Importantly, the use of these instruments for compliance is supplemental to the participants’ domestic efforts to reduce their emissions,» the statement added. PPC joined the fund to reduce the compliance cost, which reached 45 million euros in the first half of 2005, by almost half. Cost savings will be used to replace old polluting energy-producing units with new ones, using mainly natural gas. PPC also proposed imposing a «pollution charge» on customers, but the government, which still sets electricity tariffs, rejected the proposal.