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The Case of Costa Rica’s “Carbon Commodity”

By Susan Subak, Ph.D.
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When the Ministry of International Affairs in Norway and a consortium of Norwegian
hydropower companies bought Costa Rica’s CTOs for $10 / tonne carbon, this offset price was
believed to be much less expensive than abatement costs at home. Norway already has one of the
highest carbon dioxide tax rates in the world. Although Norway’s emissions target under the
Kyoto Protocol is a 1% increase from 1990 emissions, rather than the reduction target accepted
by most industrialized countries, Norway’s emissions are growing rapidly in some sectors.