Norwegian shopping centre sells carbon credits

A shopping centre in Norway is offering consumers the chance to reduce their environmental footprint whilst they shop.

A week ago, the Strommen Storsenter shopping centre, located on the outskirts of Oslo, starting selling greenhouse gas reduction certificates.

People who are becoming increasingly aware of the environment can purchase certificates for 165 Norwegian kroner (30 USD) per tonne, which contribute to the fight against climate change.

The centre initially purchased 1,000 UN-approved Certified Emissions Reductions (CER) but by the middle of the second day of sales, it had already sold more than a third of its stock.

The centre’s management said it would consider purchasing more CERs if demand remained high. It said the certificates were being purchased by both individuals and small companies.

It is estimated that every Norwegian produces 11 tonnes of greenhouse gasses per year, largely from the burning of fossil fuels.

“Many people want to buy reductions, but until we started this in the shopping mall, they haven’t known where to get them, but now they are available to everybody,” said Ole Herredsvela, the shopping centre’s technical manager.

To date, the only carbon offset scheme available to the ordinary consumer has been through airlines which offer to offset the environmental impact of flights.

According to the shopping centre, the certificates are being sold at cost plus ten per cent, with the extra money going entirely to administration.