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Chicago Climate Exchange to shut down emissions trading

By Aaron Smith, staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Chicago Climate Exchange, a pilot program for the trading of greenhouse gases in the U.S., is shutting down for lack of legislative interest.

Chicago Climate Exchange Inc., will close down its cap-and-trade market by the end of the year, said spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin.

This will effectively end the trading of emissions credits in North America. The exchange will, however, continue some activities until 2012, including the mitigating of emissions in farming and forestry through a crediting process, said McLaughlin.

IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), an Atlanta-based operator of exchanges and markets, confirmed that it is winding down the Chicago Climate Exchange, which is the American part of a larger, international company called Climate Exchange.

IntercontinentalExchange is closing the Chicago operations just months after paying nearly $600 million for Climate Exchange. But the company will continue to operate the Climate Exchange's markets for greenhouse gases in Europe, said spokeswoman Melanie Shale.

Shale said that emissions trading, also known as cap and trade, effectively ended in the U.S. when climate legislation died in the Senate. But it's still going strong overseas, she said.

"It has to do with the current administration and their outlook on the U.S. for cap and trade," said Shale. "Obviously it's a market that's moving forward in Europe."

She added that the Climate Exchange "was purchased for its bigger European business." To top of page

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