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IFC Signs Carbon Emission Purchase Agreement in Argentina


In Washington, D.C.
Lucie Giraud
Phone: +1 202 458 4662
Email:
lgiraud@ifc.org

In Sao Paulo

Karina Manasseh

Phone: +55 11 5185-6881

Email:
kmanasseh@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., June 02, 2006 – The IFC-Netherlands Carbon Facility, a joint initiative of the International Finance Corporation and the government of the Netherlands, today signed an emissions reduction purchase agreement worth more than $6 million. Under this agreement, IFC will use Dutch government funds to purchase greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions from a landfill gas project in Argentina.  In accordance with the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol, the Dutch government will then use the purchased Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) to help comply with its commitment under the Protocol.

Rachel Kyte, Director of IFC’s Environment and Social Development Department, said, “The Clean Development Mechanism is now a real opportunity for companies to invest in environmental projects in emerging markets. This is a win-win situation. Greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced, a landfill in Argentina will be better managed, and the Netherlands is helping fulfill its emission reduction commitments.”

CERs are independently verified reductions of carbon dioxide, methane, and other GHG emissions in developing countries. Under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism, they are eligible for trade and can be sold in countries that have undertaken such reductions.

Atul Mehta, IFC’s Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, noted that, “Our role in helping the region’s companies participate in the carbon credit markets follows IFC’s objective to provide innovative and effective solutions for the private sector, both in Argentina and throughout the region.”

The project is managed by Van der Wiel Stortgas b.v. (VdW), a Dutch company that specializes in engineering, design, and supply of systems for extracting and using landfill gas. VdW has implemented a system of gas collection wells and pipes at the Villa Dominico landfill, which is located south of Buenos Aires and owned by a government agency.  VdW collects the gas, which contains significant quantities of methane, and burns it in a controlled flare to reduce its global warming potency.  Since Argentina, like many other emerging market countries, has no laws requiring collection and destruction of landfill gas, this project is a significant contribution to environmental protection. It is being implemented specifically to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. VdW and the landfill owner will share the revenues from the sale of CERs according to an agreed formula.

IFC manages two carbon purchase facilities and offers financial products for the growing carbon market, including an AAA-rated carbon delivery guarantee on behalf of projects generating emission reductions as well as loans against forward contracts.  For more information on IFC’s carbon finance offerings, contact
carbonfinance@ifc.org.

From July 2005 to March 2006, IFC committed $233 million for its own account and an additional $383 million in syndications in private sector projects in Argentina. IFC’s total portfolio in the country as of December 2005 is $1.029 billion.

In Argentina, IFC has shifted its focus from short-term lines to long-term financing.  IFC’s priority for its direct investments is to provide long-term financing and structured finance products to companies and projects in strategic sectors, with a focus on businesses expanding into other developing countries and on export-facilitating projects.  Strategic sectors for investment include oil, gas, and mining; agribusiness and forestry products; and the financial sector.  IFC is emphasizing high-impact projects, such as housing finance and support of export-oriented small and medium enterprises.

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.  Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.  For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.