November 20, 2018 / 7:01 AM / a month ago

Oil firm Equinor prepares to pay for tropical forest protection

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, is seen at the company's headquarters in Fornebu, Norway May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Nerijus Adomaitis/File Photo

OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor is preparing to pay for the protection of tropical forests to help reduce its carbon footprint, it said on Tuesday.

The investments could start in 2019, pending the establishment of a “well-functioning” market, a company spokesman said, although he declined to comment on payment size.

While Equinor’s European emissions are subject to carbon taxes, the company is also active in regions, such as Africa, the Americas and others, that are not part of similar schemes.

“Equinor is now preparing investments in reduced deforestation corresponding to the emissions from the company’s volumes from operated production in areas where there (is) no price on CO2,” the company said in a statement.

“Emissions from this operated production were slightly below 1 million tonnes in 2017. This underlines Equinor’s support for a global price on carbon,” it said.

Preventing deforestation is vital to reaching the goals of the Paris climate accords, and a key reason why Equinor will put a price tag on its own greenhouse gas emissions, it said.

Equinor also hopes to contribute to the development of an international carbon market that would enable companies to invest in the protection of tropical forests, it said.

Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord and Terje Solsvik; Editing by Tom Hogue

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