Haifa Chemicals and Citi To Sell Carbon Credits

191900913_322a652ad8Haifa Bay is lovely, but it’s extremely polluted. Chemical giant there now producing carbon credits with Citi bank.

What would induce a significantly environmentally polluting company like Israel’s Haifa Chemicals to make an agreement with an international banking institution like Citi to meet targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions?

Haifa Chemicals has long been a producer of various chemicals for use in the food, fertilizer and technical chemicals industries.

Some of these chemicals include potassium nitrate, used both as a food additive and as an ingredient in explosives (such as gunpowder). The company also produces phosphate based fertilizers that are used for a number of food products, including meat and fish, dairy products, and vegetables. The production of these chemicals meant that this company, along with others such as Taro Pharmaceutical Industries and Kitan Textiles has far exceeded set pollution limits.

Haifa Chemicals in particular was formerly engaged in discharging 1.5 million tons of toxic effluents into the Kishon River (one of Israel’s most polluted streams) annually, much of it phosphate based. The banking giant Citi agreed to sell certified emission reduction (CER) credits after the Israeli company acquired new technology to cut its greenhouse gases, according to Haaretz.

Just in time for Copenhagen

A certified emission credit is defined as “an environmental credit created by projects that directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as waste heat recovery, energy efficiency, landfill gas capture, natural gas pipeline repair, waste management and reforestation.”

The agreement was made under the auspices of the United Nations carbon trading scheme called the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM),  which allows rich countries to trade CERs from developing countries to meet targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Better known simply as the CDM, this environmental measuring unit, devised under the Kyoto Protocol , represents a ton of carbon dioxide-equivalent saved from being emitted into the atmosphere. Traded as a financial unit on the European Climate Exchange, each CDM has a market value of around 12.79 Euros. The agreement should enable the company to earn as much as $60 million in CDM credits.

Haifa Chemical CEO Nadav Shachar was quoted as saying that through this agreement his company has “set for itself a strategic target for reducing greenhouse gases.”  Although Haifa Chemicals has made efforts to reduce the pollutants it has previously dumped into the Kishon, it still has a way to go to further reduce its pollutions into the air, which is along with the pollution caused by the city’s oil refineries .

Despite this reality, Shachar believes that this agreement is a good start to solving his company’s pollution problems. “We all share the responsibility for the future of planet Earth and I hope that more companies and other production facilities will follow Haifa Chemicals’ path and join this global effort,” he added.

Haifa currently has 13 air monitoring stations to monitor air and other types of pollution in different parts of the city. The girls there are considered the most beautiful in the country, while the air, the worst.

Photo via eye of einstein


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