TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) – Cosmo Oil Co Ltd, a leading domestic oil refiner and distributor, will begin sales to ordinary consumers via the Internet of carbon dioxide emission rights as early as March, the Nikkei Business Daily reported, without citing sources.

To date, the company has carried out limited sales of such rights at environmental-related conferences and the like, but the company believes there is also demand among consumers who are concerned about global warming. Cosmo Oil said it hopes the move will increase awareness in general of emission rights themselves.

The company will sell emission rights purchased from US financial services firm Zurich Capital Markets Inc. The rights have been derived from a eucalyptus afforestation project in Australia.

Cosmo Oil will sell via its own shopping site emission rights at a price of 500 yen per one ton of carbon dioxide. Consumers can buy rights to any number of tons, but the rights cannot be resold. (US$1=105 yen).

Australia has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol and at present the rights cannot be used in international trading based on the protocol.

The company, however, believes that those who want to improve the global environment will purchase the rights.

Cosmo Oil owns emission rights to a total of 71,500 tons of carbon dioxide. A portion of these will be used in an ecologically minded campaign geared toward holders of Cosmo Oil credit cards.