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Gazprom offers carbon neutral gas

Russia's giant state-owned natural gas company Gazprom will sell gas to its European Union customers along with carbon credits to offset the emissions from the burning of the fuel.

Gazprom Marketing & Trading, the utility’s British subsidiary has announced a deal to buy Kyoto carbon credits, CERs, from a Brazilian biomass power generation project. Those credits will packaged up with gas sales to offer Gazprom's customers a carbon neutral fuel purchase to help meet their targets under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. The Brazilian project will deliver CERs over a six-year period and Gazprom says it intends to source more such credits from other projects in Brazil.

Under the Clean Development Mechanism set up under the Kyoto Protocol, carbon credits are created by paying for greenhouse gas emission reduction projects in developing countries. They are then used to offset emissions in developed countries which are subject to Kyoto emission reduction targets. „This is an important step in Gazprom's strategy to support the global carbon business and green energy development under the Kyoto Protocol,” said Vitaly Vasiliev, CEO of Gazprom Marketing & Trading.

Gazprom and other Russian firms are anxious to develop their expertise in international carbon trading markets. Because of the collapse of Soviet-era industry in the 1990s, Russia has an enormous notional surplus of emission reduction credits under Kyoto. Known has 'hot air', the resulting credits, accumulating because industrial emissions are far less than they were in the base year 1990, are estimated be worth up to $60 billion if sold to other industrialized countries liable under Kyoto. (