From the International Herald Tribune:
Tokyo Electric Power and Nippon Steel are among utilities and steel makers agreeing to buy more United Nations carbon emission credits, helping Japan to meet its goal to cut greenhouse gases.
Ten regional power companies pledged to quadruple their cumulative purchase of carbon credits to 120 million tons, according to a document released Thursday by a government panel. More than 60 members of the Japan Iron and Steel Federation will buy 44 million tons of credits, an increase from 28 million tons originally planned.
Earthquakes and mechanical faults forced Tokyo Electric and other utilities to halt some nuclear operations and revert to using oil- and coal-fired plants, raising their carbon output. The companies are trying to meet their voluntary emission-reduction targets by buying more credits.
The 18 member companies of the Petroleum Association of Japan, headed by the chairman of Nippon Oil, Fumiaki Watari, said it would cut cumulative emissions by 13 percent in the year starting April 2010 from 1990 levels. The group originally planned a 10 percent reduction.
The 1997 Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol allows companies from industrial countries to buy carbon credits through the United Nations from developing nations to comply with requirements on the reduction of gas emissions....MORE