Japan steelmakers to receive 10.4 mln CO2 offset

TOKYO Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:45am EST

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TOKYO Nov 22 (Reuters) - Japanese steelmakers are likely to receive 10.4 million tonnes of U.N. carbon dioxide offsets over the Kyoto Protocol's five-year period, lower than the 35 million tonnes estimated earlier, the Iron and Steel Association of Japan said on Thursday.

The decline is due to delays and scale-downs in clean energy projects in China and other developing countries, the association said.

Steelmakers and power utilities are major offset buyers in Japan, the world's fifth biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. The offsets are aimed at helping Japan meet its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol to cut emissions by 6 percent from 1990/91 to 1.186 billion tonnes a year on average over the five years to March 2013.

An economic slump in 2008 and 2009 undermined economic activity and has made it easier for industries in Japan to meet their self-pledged emission cut goals.

Japan's power utilities have said they would buy a total 260 million tonnes of U.N. offsets from abroad. Of that, they redeemed a total 201.9 million tonnes by transferring the offsets to the government's account between 2008 and 2011, a Reuters survey shows.

Oil refiners expect offset delivery of 1.7 million tonnes, oil and gas developing companies at 31.6 million tonnes and drug makers at 0.2 million tonnes, according to data released this week by Japan's main business lobby, Keidanren.

(Reporting by Risa Maeda; editing by Miral Fahmy)

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