June 26, 2007 / 4:54 PM / 12 years ago

U.N. awards most ever CO2 credits to Indian projects

LONDON (Reuters) - The United Nations awarded more than 5.4 million carbon credits to an Indian company on Monday, including four million carbon credits in the single largest issuance of emissions permits to a Kyoto Protocol project.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said on its website that the Certified Emissions Reductions certificates, or CERs, were issued to two projects owned by India’s JSW Steel for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions between August 2001 and July 2005.

The projects, registered in January under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), cut greenhouse gases emitted through power generation from imported coal and waste gases from JSW’s steel manufacturing operations between 2001 and 2006.

The four million credit issuance accounts for 6.5 percent of the total 62 million CERs allocated by the UN so far, with 42 percent of all issued credits going to projects in India.

CERs, each equivalent to the reduction of one tonne of CO2, trading on a secondary market are currently valued at around 14.50 euros.

The CDM is a scheme under the Kyoto Protocol that allows rich countries to meet emissions targets by funding clean energy projects in developing nations.

This CER issuance comes at a time when the CDM is under intense scrutiny, as critics are calling for a more rigorous analysis of a project’s “additionally,” or proof that it would not have otherwise gone ahead.

Indian projects especially should be examined as document faking is routinely taking place by project developers, Axel Michaelowa, a former adviser to the UN climate change body, told Reuters last week.

To date, the UNFCCC has registered 713 greenhouse gas-reducing projects in almost 50 nations worldwide.

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