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Billionth ton of CO2 saved as part of Kyoto Protocol

PARIS -- The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), a Kyoto Protocol device to curb greenhouse gases through market forces, has now issued a billion tons of carbon credits, the U.N. climate forum announced on Friday.

Under the CDM, rich countries that are party to the 2005 treaty can invest in emissions-cutting projects in developing countries.

They then earn carbon credits — formally known as certified emission reductions (CERs) — that they can then sell or use to offset against their own emissions targets.

The billionth CER was issued for CDM Project 0949, a scheme in Alwar, Rajasthan, where an Indian factory has switched its fuel source from coal and oil to locally-gathered biomass, the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said in a press release from Bonn.

The change is designed to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 17,475 tons annually, the equivalent in terms of fossil-fuel pollution of taking 3,100 passenger cars off the road.

“This exciting milestone is a testament to the expanding use of the CDM,” the UNFCCC's Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, said.

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