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Norway's DNV wins U.N. climate watchdog role

Norwegian ship classification and risk management group DNV said on Thursday that it was the first firm to win a U.N. permit to assess greenhouse gas emissions under a scheme to combat global warming.

Norwegian ship classification and risk management group DNV said on Thursday that it was the first firm to win a U.N. permit to assess greenhouse gas emissions under a scheme to combat global warming.

It said that the U.N. climate change panel had authorised DNV to check projects under which companies in industrialised countries can invest in renewable energy in developing nations to help limit global emissions of gases like carbon dioxide.

"DNV is the first and so far only company accredited for validation services related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and landfill gas capture projects," it said.

DNV, which has services from ship classification to the environment, will assess greenhouse gas emissions saved by projects such as using methane from rotting rubbish dumps in Brazil or using a hydro-electric plant in Mexico to generate electricity instead of coal or oil.

Emissions of gases like carbon dioxide, mainly from burning fossil fuels, are widely blamed for blanketing the planet and nudging temperatures higher, causing what could be catastrophic changes in the climate.

"More than 20 companies have been seeking accreditation," Michael Lehmann, DNV's deputy technical director, told Reuters.

Under the U.N.'s 1997 Kyoto protocol, rich nations are meant to cut their emissions of carbon dioxide by about 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12.

Companies in industrial states can invest in renewable energy projects -- like solar, wind or hydro power -- in developing nations and count the saved carbon dioxide emissions towards reductions back home.

Kyoto, however, is in limbo. After a U.S. pullout in 2001, it now hinges on Russian ratification to win sufficient backing to enter into force. Moscow has said it is undecided.

DNV said that it had won its authorisation from the so-called clean development mechanism Executive Board, appointed by the parties to the U.N. Framework Convention of Climate Change.

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