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Strong interest in climate-friendly projects

Monday, 15 September 2003 Media Statement

Strong interest in climate-friendly projects

Businesses, local authorities and other organisations are showing strong interest in bidding for Kyoto Protocol ‘carbon credits’ for projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Bidding opens today for a pool of four million emission units the Government has put up for tender. In return for the units, bidders must carry out projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions during the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2008-2012).

"The first tender round in the Projects to Reduce Emissions programme is an example of how the Kyoto Protocol opens up new business opportunities," says the Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change, Pete Hodgson.

"This programme will benefit New Zealand by supporting projects and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that would not happen without it. It offers tangible rewards for developments that take us further towards a clean, green and sustainable energy future."

Emission units are expected to be internationally tradeable when the Protocol comes into force, although some carbon credit trading is already occurring. Firms and other organisations that successfully bid for emission units will be able to trade their units as they wish.

Mr Hodgson said the New Zealand Climate Change Office had already received more than 40 registrations of interest in the tender round from a variety of organisations.

"These include proposals for a number of renewable energy projects, using wind, solar energy, biomass and waste. There are also a number of energy efficiency and fuel efficiency projects. At least two international organisations have expressed interest in buying the credits from successful bidders.

"From the level of interest expressed at pre-tender briefings, we expect this first tender round to be keenly contested. This means we will be able to choose the very best projects for reducing emissions. We also expect to see a high level of innovation in many of the projects."

Some 240 people from heavy industries, power, oil and waste companies, local authorities, transport companies and smaller technology-based firms attended pre-tender briefings in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch last week.

To qualify for the carbon credits, projects must result in a measurable reduction in greenhouse gases and not be ‘business-as-usual’. They must take place in New Zealand and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are counted in New Zealand’s greenhouse gas inventory under the Kyoto Protocol.

If the pool of four million emission units is oversubscribed, priority will be given in this first tender round to larger projects that will contribute to electricity security in the near future. Mr Hodgson said early registrations of interest suggested there would be no shortage of projects that would contribute to electricity security.

Tenders close on Friday, 24 October 2003. Successful projects will be decided by late November and the first project agreements between project owners and the Government are expected to be finalised before Christmas. The remaining agreements will be completed early in the New Year.

Documents for the Projects to Reduce Emissions tender are available from the Government Electronic Tenders Service at www.gets.govt.nz.

Further information: www.climatechange.govt.nz

ENDS

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