Dexia, a Franco-Belgian banking group, yesterday announced plans to launch an investment fund aimed at reducing global warming. Operated in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the fund aims to raise $147.5 million to invest in energy-saving projects in central and eastern Europe. In addition to normal equity returns, investors will have the chance to earn carbon-emission credits that could be used in future emissions trading under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. In other carbon credit news, Tokyo Electric Power has signed a deal with the Australian state of New South Wales under which the company will pay $18.9 million for 10,000 hectares of forest to be planted along Australia’s east coast. In exchange, the company will get carbon credits to offset its emissions in Japan.