Thursday, April 3, 2008

EU Emissions Rise - Cap&Trade not working??

The above linked article is not good. The BBC reports that the European Union's carbon emissions are up - by 1.1% - since last year. What do they conclude from this? The EU's Emissions Trading System is not working. If you dig a little deeper however, you may agree they are jumping to a premature conclusion.

Could it be that the UK was one of the worst performers involved in the ETS? Why yes, actually - the UK went over their allocated emissions by 85 million tonnes. Nobody was expecting the program to work perfectly right out of the gates, but nobody likes sore losers. And if you look at the trend of annual increases in emissions - 1.1% of an increase is actually not that bad. Obviously we want to decrease emissions each year, but decreasing the increase is the first step.

The Center for American Progress says DON'T COUNT CAP&TRADE OUT!
The initial Phase I period of 2005-2007 was a trial period and problems were supposed to arise TO FIX THEM. It is now time to fix the glitches and have a better system in Phase II. The Center points to the successful SO2 trading system that has helped solve the acid rain problem addressed in the Clean Air Act of 1990.

Cap$Trade programs can and will work, but we cannot give up. Global warming is a complex and constantly changing problem. It will need and complex and constantly changing solution. As the BBC report says, these programs need to be regularly reviewed and improved. Nobody said saving the planet was going to be easy...

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