Environment News Service (ENS)

House Buys Carbon Credits Through Chicago Climate Exchange

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Source: Environment News Service (ENS)

The Chicago Climate Exchange, which began its greenhouse gas trading operations in 2003, has announced the results of its auction of Carbon Financial Instrument contracts conducted on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives at its request.

The reverse auction was a bid for 300 contracts representing 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from a pool of U.S. based projects that have offset a proportionate amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

The House purchased these carbon credits to offset the impact of 30,000 tons of carbon emitted by the U.S. Capitol's coal-burning power plant each year.

The funds will be used on carbon reducing measures, such as planting trees and underground storage of carbon dioxide, as well as green technologies like wind and solar power.

The auction was oversubscribed with a weighted average clearing price of $2.97 per ton, totaling approximately $90,000.

'We are pleased to have the Chicago Climate Exchange provide a price transparency mechanism through this auction service to U. S. House of Representatives as part of its 'Greening of the Capitol Initiative,' said Dr. Richard Sandor, chairman and CEO of CCX.

As part of its 'Greening of the Capitol Initiative,' the House will retire the tons purchased as one of several strategies to reduce the contribution to greenhouse gas accumulation derived from its operations.

'The U.S. House of Representative's purchase of CCX Carbon Financial Instrument contracts highlights the contribution to climate change solutions being made by renewable energy providers, farmers, foresters, ranchers, and others, located across the United States, who are also helping build the environmental and financial institutions that can cost-effectively help address environmental concerns for generations to come,' Sandor said.

A financial institution, CCX is the world's first and North America's only voluntary, legally binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction, registry and trading system.

The event was held November 5 at the Chicago offices of CCX and attended by Illinois Congressmen Rahm Emanuel, Mark Kirk, and Dan Lipinski, all Democrats, and Dan Beard, the U.S. House of Representatives chief administrative officer, CAO.

'Americans are increasingly concerned about the impact of foreign energy dependence on our national security and the effects of global climate change on the planet,' said Lipinski. 'This is an important step in our quest to make Congress carbon neutral and I am extremely proud to be standing here, in Chicago, on this historic day.'

'Through the Greening the Capitol initiative, the House of Representatives joins Chicago in a commitment to energy efficiency and responsible stewardship of the environment,' said Emanuel.

The House will become carbon neutral by purchasing wind power for the electricity it uses, and by substituting natural gas for coal to generate the House's portion of the electricity produced by the Capitol Power Plant.

To offset the carbon emitted from burning natural gas, the House will purchase carbon offsets. Funding for the purchase of these offsets is available in the Chief Administrative Officer's Fiscal Year 2008 budget.

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