The Japanese company Sumitomo has announced plans to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Russia. And in doing so, the company could win greenhouse emission credits for Japan.

The Japanese trading house will work with the Unified Energy System to replace outdated equipment in 28 power stations. By switching from coal to natural gas, the modernization programme could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the plants by 10 million t each year, equivalent to three per cent of Japan’s annual emissions.

Targets for emissions were set in Kyoto in December 1997. A follow-up conference in Buenos Aires this year will decide if emission trading systems are to be permitted.