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Item #d98aug32

At its November meeting in Buenos Aires, the United Nations will establish the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). The purpose of this new organization will be to advise companies and countries on how best to use carbon-trading techniques, to verify company greenhouse-gas emissions reports and carbon credits, and thus to promote and make possible international emissions trading. The joint public-private venture will be based in Geneva.

Emissions trading allows companies or countries to buy or sell credits based on their production of chemical pollutants, carbon dioxide, or other greenhouse gases. Emissions trading is expected to be a key means for developed countries to meet the emissions reductions they agreed to last December at the United Nations climate conference in Kyoto, Japan.

Although a formalized international system of emissions trading has yet to be devised, various companies (e.g., Bankers Trust Corp.; Cantor Fitzgerald LP; Sumitomo Corp.; and Edison International, Inc.), financial exchanges [e.g., London’s International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and the Sydney Exchange], and international bodies (e.g., the World Bank) are actively developing schemes.

For example, Suncor Energy, Inc., of Canada has purchased credits for reducing 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse-gas emissions from Niagara Mohawk of Syracuse, N.Y., and has committed about $10 million to buy an additional 10 million tonnes during the next 10 years. The International Emissions Trading Association is expected to guide and complement those types of efforts.

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