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France

Dexia bank offsets CO2 emissions with wind power

Dexia, a European bank, has bought a 20 MW wind power project from French renewable energy specialist EDF Energie Nouvelles, which is 50% owned by national utility EDF, to offset the group's carbon emissions. Comprising ten Repower 2 MW turbines, the project is under construction in the communes of Fierville-Bray, Airan and Condé-sur-Ifs, in Basse-Normandie and is due for completion in early 2009. When running, it will avoid 17,700 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year, equal to 66% of the group's emissions associated with electricity consumption in 2006. The move is part of Dexia's policy, implemented last year, to become "carbon neutral" in its operations. Dexia claims it is the first bank to implement such a policy, which is in keeping with the group's role as a major world player in public and project finance, particularly in renewables. In 2007, 36% of Dexia's energy portfolio was allocated to the green energy sector and it is involved in the high-profile C-Power offshore wind power station being developed off the coast of Belgium. "For Dexia, the policy of reducing and offsetting the CO2 emissions of the Dexia Group is a strategic process, consistent with our financing activities," says vice-chairman Jacques Guerber. The strategy will focus on wind and solar projects in France, Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg, the main European countries in which the bank has offices.

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