WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland will exchange its surplus emission permits under the Kyoto Protocol (AAUs) to Japan for the Asian country's energy storage technologies, according to a preliminary agreement between the two, Poland's environment minister said on Monday.
In the past Japan was the largest buyer of Poland's AAUs, but the trade formula was changing, Andrzej Kraszewski said.
"This is our chance to use our AAUs. We could have problems selling otherwise," Kraszewski told reporters. "We have several companies already expressing interest, including Tauron and Energa, so the turn-over would be partly non-cash."
Kraszewski said Japan's NEDO government agency dealing with new technologies was the only one in the world now that was producing and storing hydrogen and then burning it in a special turbine with steam the only side effect.
Nations comfortably below greenhouse gas targets under the Kyoto Protocol can sell excess emission rights, called Assigned Amount Units (AAUs), to other countries.
Poland saw much of its heavily-polluting industry shut down after overthrowing communism in 1989 and had some 500 million tons of CO2 equivalent before selling some to Japan, Spain and Ireland.
Warsaw, which now also holds the European Union's rotating presidency until the end of the year, is campaigning to prolong AAUs viability for trade beyond 2012 when the first round of the Kyoto Protocol expires.
Some other bloc's members, including Denmark, are opposed.
The 27-nation bloc is struggling to work out a joint stance for the November global climate talks in South Africa's Durban, which are now seen unlikely to agree a world-wide legally binding agreement to replace Kyoto.
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; editing by James Jukwey)