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Climate Change Capital cuts staff in U.S., Britain

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) - Clean energy project investment manager Climate Change Capital said on Thursday it was reducing the headcount at its offices in the U.S. and Britain.

“We have reduced some of the support and administrative activities. It’s not a significant number for us,” chief executive Mark Woodall told Reuters, declining to disclose exactly how many staff were reduced.

“The core activities of the company are unaffected by the changes we have made,” he added.

Climate Change Capital advises and invests in companies which finance clean energy projects.

Under Kyoto’s Clean Development Mechanism, companies can invest in such projects in developing nations, and in return receive offset credits which can be sold for profit.

Climate Change Capital is reducing staff in response to the economic slowdown which has resulted in some projects being put on hold, Woodall said.

“When you have engineered a business that was going to take on more funds and activities and now you don’t do those activities, you have to make some changes to the people who were in support functions. As you make a change at the front end, you have to make a change at the back end,” Woodall said.

But he stressed that the company was not as badly affected by the financial crisis as other project developers.

“Some quite large projects are facing delays due to lack of bank debt finance. We don’t have that much exposure to that end of the market. Therefore, the impact on our advisory and investment business is more muted,” he said.

Last week, Climate Change Capital said it was cutting half of its staff in Beijing, China. The company employees around 125 people globally, with over 100 in the U.S. and Britain. [ID:nLK658902] London-based brokers CantorCO2e said in January they would scale back origination of clean energy projects under the Kyoto Protocol as a result of falling demand for carbon offsets. [ID:nLK177398] Tullett Prebon also trimmed its carbon brokerage activity.

Project developers Camco and EcoSecurities have also cut staff.

Financial institutions Credit Suisse CSGN.VX, Bank of America BAC.N, Lehman Brothers LEH.N and have stopped carbon trading or project origination operations in the past year.

Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Giles Elgood