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CME Group to launch global emission offset futures contract on March 1

LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) - U.S. exchange operator CME Group will launch a global emissions offset futures contract on March 1 to help establish a global price for carbon credits, it said on Tuesday.

Many global companies such as oil majors Shell and BP have pledged to reach net zero emissions, but will need to buy or generate carbon credits to offset the emissions they are unable to cut from their operations.

Currently carbon offsets, which can be generated through schemes such as planting trees or switching to less polluting fuels for cooking, are traded in a small voluntary market, often on a project-by-project basis.

CME’s Global Emissions Offset (GEO) futures contract “will provide a regulated, market-based solution that can help address risk management needs... as well as a standardized pricing benchmark to help facilitate long-term climate goals,” Peter Keavey, global head of energy at CME Group, said in a statement.

A private sector task force on scaling up the voluntary carbon market said last year the market will need to grow 15-fold by 2030, with new trading products needed to enable organisations to meet goals set under the Paris climate agreement. (Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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