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ENVIRONMENT REPORT – Chicago Climate Exchange - 2003-02-06

Broadcast: February 7, 2003

This is the VOA Special English ENVIRONMENT REPORT.

A private North American group has launched an effort to reduce and trade releases of industrial gases linked to the warming of the Earth. This is the first time that businesses operating in more than one industry have agreed to use a market-based system to reduce industrial gas emissions. The group plans to begin trading emissions credits later this year.

Several companies and the American city of Chicago, Illinois, announced the program last month. It is called the Chicago Climate Exchange, or C-C-X. Members of the group include DuPont, Ford Motor Company, International Paper, and Motorola.

Each member of the C-C-X has agreed to reduce its release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by four percent over the next four years. Members will receive credit for emissions reductions above four percent. They can sell or trade these credits to other members that have trouble meeting this goal.

Richard Sandor is the chairman of the C-C-X. He praised the companies forming the group for demonstrating leadership. He said they believe that an active way to deal with global warming helps everyone.

The group said its members want to reduce costs they may face from future rules on greenhouse gas emissions. Trading credits may help businesses find the most cost-effective methods to reduce pollution. Members also hope to improve their public image on environmental issues.

One member of the Chicago Climate Exchange is American Electric Power. It the biggest owner of electric power producers in the United States. Company officials say they hope their company’s membership will demonstrate the ability of the C-C-X to grow.

American Electric Power expects to reduce its release of industrial emissions through a number of actions. They include improving the effectiveness of power stations and use of renewable energy. The company also will purchase credits directly from the program.

The C-C-X will supervise this program for industrial emissions, planting forests or farm products that use carbon dioxide, and other projects in North America. Companies in Brazil also will be invited to join the program. About one-hundred other businesses have expressed interest in joining. Officials expect a second group of members to be announced in about three months.

This VOA Special English ENVIRONMENT REPORT was written by George Grow.