Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Political Economy of Carbon Trading

Informative essay from the London Review of Books on carbon emissions trading, by Donald MacKenzie:

"...There’s a sense in which the first phase of the European scheme was always meant as an experiment rather than as a tool to deliver substantial emissions reductions. The second phase, which will run from January 2008 until the end of the Kyoto commitment period in December 2012, will be much more significant. The European Commission sees the need to ensure the credibility of what is in many ways its flagship policy. It also now has much better emissions data to use to evaluate National Allocation Plans, and the fact that the second phase of trading coincides with the Kyoto commitment period means there’s a clear benchmark against which to assess the plans of all the countries that are in danger of not meeting their Kyoto commitments. So this time round the Commission has been significantly tougher in its assessments. Once again almost all member states sought over generous allocations, but their wishes haven’t been granted: so far, all the plans except that of the UK have been cut back...."

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