UN to rule on financing for Chinese wind farms

LONDON, ENGLAND - A United Nations climate panel will rule on whether seven Chinese wind farms are eligible for climate financing, worth around 36 million euros (US$54.3 million), the panel's chair told Reuters.

The panel is reviewing these projects after conditionally approving 17 other Chinese wind farms for financing of around $150 million in September following a drop in financial support from Beijing in the form of tariffs.

"There's been no change in policy (and) in previous meetings we have not rejected any projects for this specific reason," said Lex de Jonge, chairman of the UN panel, speaking from the panel's meeting in Copenhagen.

"I expect a decision will be made at this meeting that will be decisive for all the other projects," he added.

The issue has caused long-running tension between the panel, project developers and emissions brokers over the speed of approvals in the $6.5 billion global carbon offset market.

Under the UN-led Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism, developed countries can buy carbon offsets by funding cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in emerging nations.

The scheme is supposed to fund additional cuts in emissions and if projects are self-sufficient, it may be that they are no longer cutting emissions below normal trends.

A panel ruling on the seven projects, which are expected to cut 2.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2012, will likely be announced soon.

UN data showed that investors in the projects include Tokyo Electric, Essent Energy Trading and EDF Trading, the trading arm of French utility EDF.

Delegates from nearly 200 countries, including almost 100 world leaders, will meet in Copenhagen to work on a new climate pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire in 2012.


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