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United Nations raises estimate of emission-credit supply 20%

The United Nations, which manages an emission-credits system based on projects that curb greenhouse gases in developing nations, raised by 20% its estimate of the supply of credits that will be available through 2012.

As much as 1.8 billion metric tons of credits may be created through the end of 2012 under the so-called Clean Development Mechanism of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change said today in an e-mail. That's more than the 1.5 billion it forecast in January, spokesman John Hay, who's based in Bonn, said yesterday by telephone. The UNFCCC said it had registered its 500th CDM project today, a wind farm in Gujarat, India, that will curb emissions by 15,300 tons annually. Factories and power stations in the European Union can use permits granted by their governments or CDM credits to comply with carbon dioxide limits. Industrialized nations may spend as much as $100 billion a year in developing nations by 2050, helping ensure growing economies switch to low-fossil-fuel technology, the UN said in September. That's if industrialized countries agree to emission reductions of as much as 80% by mid-century and buy credits in poorer nations where the cuts aren't possible at home. Countries including Japan and companies like BP Plc, Europe's second-biggest oil company, are looking for projects such as capturing methane from coal mines that offer a chance to buy permits for less than the cost of curbing output at home. The UN's Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board helps make sure only genuine projects attract tradable emission credits. Credits approved by the board are called certified emission reductions. (Bloomberg)