BUSINESS BRIEFS

Slovak company sells fresh air to Japan

THE SLOVAK firm Menert and two towns, Šala and Nové Zámky, which have been emitting lower levels of carbon dioxide than allotted under the Kyoto Protocol, have sold credits for their unused greenhouse gas allowance to Japanese company Sumimoto, according to the SME daily.

The trade is reportedly one of the first emissions trading deals under the Kyoto Protocol, which requires signatory countries to reduce emissions of six greenhouse gasses.

EU member and accession states, all of whom are Kyoto signatories, are required to cut emissions across the enlarged union by 8 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.

To help spread the cost and reduce economic impacts of the reductions, the EU is planning to set up an international bourse for emissions trading by 2005, allowing countries not using their full Kyoto quota to sell surplus emissions in the form of credits to other countries and firms on an open market.

Unofficial data says that Japan paid more than $1.5 million (€1.3 million) to the western Slovak town of Šala for the credits. The Netherlands is also interested in buying "fresh air" from Slovakia, writes SME.

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