11 April 2002
The UK launched the world's first carbon emissions trading scheme last week with a total of 49 companies taking part.
The scheme is part of the government's drive to meet its Kyoto agreement targets to reduce carbon dioxide, a contributor to global warming.
Companies signing up to the scheme agree to cut their output of carbon dioxide measured in "carbon credits". They receive a reduction of up to 80 per cent on their climate change levy, which was imposed last year on all companies to encourage them to use less energy.
Under the trading scheme, if a company fails to meet its agreed yearly target for carbon dioxide reductions, it must buy enough credits from a company that has exceeded its target to make up the shortfall.
Ian Dobson, chairman of the CIPS energy committee, said take-up was likely to increase when companies realised how it could save them money.