UK buying £50m of carbon credits then cancelling them

The UK is buying £50million worth of carbon credits from developing countries under new plans announced during the UN’s climate talks. The COP19 summit wrapped up on Saturday with ministers […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The UK is buying £50million worth of carbon credits from developing countries under new plans announced during the UN’s climate talks.

The COP19 summit wrapped up on Saturday with ministers declaring there was plenty of “homework” to do ahead of the next meetings due to be held in the next two years in Peru and Paris.

One plan laid out by the UK Government called the Carbon Market Finance (CMF) programme is to spend £50m between 2013 and 2025 on clean energy projects such as household solar, biogas and micro-hydro systems.

This will done by buying credits in the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). This is the international source of carbon credits that lets businesses trade “certified emissions reductions” or CERs which come from emissions reducing projects in developing countries.

The Government will cancel these credits because the scheme is classified as Official Development Assistance (ODA), a briefing on the plans stated: “All credits purchased by the UK through CMF must be cancelled and not used for compliance with UK GHG targets”.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is putting £35m towards the total and Department for International Development will make up the other £15m, with the cash coming from their share of the UK Government’s International Climate Fund (ICF).