lunes, julio 23, 2007

AUSTRALIA: Carbon trade under way without fuss

Carbon has traded in Australia for the first time, with government-issued carbon credits opening at $8.50 a tonne on the debut of the Australian Climate Exchange.

By the close of trade, carbon had climbed to $8.60. This was a big discount to the €19.60 ($A30.62) at which carbon dioxide per tonne closed in London trade on Friday.

Tony Beck, co-convener of the Australasian Emission Trading Forum, said the price would include five years of legislative risk before the Government's target of a cap-and-trade system by 2012. "You're talking about the difference between a limited number of voluntary emission reductions versus a significant reduction in national emissions over all," Mr Beck said.

"The verification and the certification conditions that would apply under a trading scheme haven't been established, so it would be a bit risky to buy a credit now and assume it's going to be recognised under a national trading scheme."

PricewaterhouseCoopers climate change services leader Andrew Petersen agreed, but said companies were moving in part because it was expected by either customers or staff.

"Some are obviously willing to take a forward strategic position and decide that this is going to be recognised into the future and they're not putting them at a price point where it's going to be seen at ridiculously low or artificially high," he said. "Perhaps, in part, it comes down to a desire to be seen to be doing something as well, which I think is something that some companies will begin to accept for them is going to work even if they're going to take a hit over the longer term in terms of the value of the trades they're engaging in."

This latter motivation seemed to be part of the reason for the first buy order, which was lodged by telecommunications company M2 Telecommunications Group. M2 became the first buyer when it placed an order to purchase $5000 worth of carbon offsets on the exchange.

"M2 has made a commitment to social and environmental responsibility within our company charter," said M2 managing director Vaughan Bowen.

"While the carbon footprint generated by the telco industry is not as substantial as other sectors, every sector should be contributing."

Via: The Age
by Marc Moncrief

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