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UN emission credits surge as developers delay carbon claims

Emission credits issued by the United Nations surged 38 percent this month amid speculation that project developers are snapping up contracts in the market to meet commitments as they delay claims for carbon cuts, according Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Certified Emission Reductions for December traded at 40 cents ($0.52) a metric ton on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London after yesterday reaching a 12-week high of 43 cents. The contracts, issued by the UN to encourage investment in climate- protecting projects in emerging nations, are still down 91 percent from a year ago amid an oversupply.

The low price means the cost of monitoring and verifying emission reductions can be more than developers make from selling the credits, James Cooper, an analyst at New Energy Finance inLondon, said in an e-mail. Instead, they’re buying credits in the market to meet agreements with buyers to deliver the greenhouse-gas emission offsets, he said.

“These projects are likely to delay issuance indefinitely in the hope that prices will rise,” Cooper said. “We’re likely to see this affect the CER issuance rate, which is set to fall sharply over the coming months.”

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