The deal specifically targets trading of greenhouse gas emission credits, which has the potential to become a market worth a billion dollars yearly. As much as one-third of that demand will come from Asia, says Natsource. Wind energy is a major source of such credits. "The Japanese and Asian electricity and environmental trading markets are just emerging but they have the potential to quickly evolve into the largest in the world," says Jack Cogen, Natsource president.
Natsource's announcement comes shortly before the sixth Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto climate convention next month to discuss how to implement the 1997 protocol. In September the EU slammed the US and Japan, as well as other industrialised nations, for stalling on Kyoto. In an interesting twist in the politics of global climate change, China is now one of the developing countries that is supporting the EU's position -- vehemently opposed by the US and Japan -- that at least half of each country's emission reduction commitments should be met through domestic action.
Mitsubishi and Tokyo Tanshi Group will manage Natsource and Mitsubishi's new Japan-based electricity and green derivatives brokerage. The partnership will help "to trigger new commodities energy and environmental markets here in Japan and the rest of Asia," says Teruyuku Nakazawa, Mitsubishi's business development manager. Mitsubishi is Japan's primary manufacturer of wind turbines, most of which have been installed in the US. Last month, Natsource bolstered its emissions trading team by hiring three new brokers with specialities in the environmental and futures markets.