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Japan to buy Ukraine’s excess emissions allowances

Japan on Monday signed a basic agreement with Ukraine to buy the eastern European nation’s surplus allowances for greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, government officials said.

The memorandum of understanding, signed in Kiev, marks the second such agreement for the Japanese government following one with Hungary signed under the Green Investment Scheme (GIS). Monday’s agreement does not state how many tons of carbon dioxide credits the Japanese government will buy, or the payment for the transferred credits. Under the Kyoto Protocol, governments are able to sell such surplus emissions rights to other countries that overshoot their emissions targets, like Japan.

Japan, the world’s fifth-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, is in talks with countries including Poland, the Czech Republic and Russia on similar deals, as Tokyo aims to buy 100 million tons of credits between 2008 and 2012. The Green Investment Scheme was created to force governments selling emissions rights to invest the revenue in clean energy projects. (Reuters)