Both Carbon Trading Profits and Emissions Soar

Both Carbon Trading and Emissions Are GrowDespite 80% growth in carbon trading [ark] in the past year, including windfall profits [ark] for some, carbon markets have yet to lead to actual emission reductions. Indeed, carbon and other emissions continue to soar [ark | search].
As I have written previously, while profiting from efforts to reduce emissions may be useful to some degree, the cap and trade approach is by no means sufficient [ark]. At some point emissions need to be reduced at a cost to society because it is necessary and the right thing to do.

A much more suitable and less complex market based approach to reducing emissions quickly is a global carbon tax [search]. Such an approach need not be onerous, as Climate Ark's Lincoln Plan demonstrates. If is far preferable in terms of rapidly and clearly setting a price on carbon [search] to tax energy sources according to their carbon content than to expect carbon markets to do so. While carbon markets may have a role, we simply do not have time for them to develop to bring about necessary major emission reductions. We know a carbon tax will reduce emissions.

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6 Responses

  1. sarap says:

    I noticed you were talking about carbon trading, and I thought you might be interested in a new documentary that has just been released that examines the impact of carbon trading around the world.
    The Carbon Connection -;looks at two communities affected by one new global market -; the trade in carbon dioxide. In Scotland a town has been polluted by oil and chemical companies since the 1940s. In Brazil local people's water and land is being swallowed up by destructive monoculture eucalyptus tree plantations. Both communities now share a new threat. As part of the deal to reduce greenhouse gases that cause dangerous climate change, major polluters can now buy carbon credits that allow them to pay someone else to reduce emissions instead of cutting their own pollution.
    What this means for those living next to the oil industry in Scotland is the continuation of pollution caused by their toxic neighbours. Meanwhile in Brazil the schemes that generate carbon credits gives an injection of cash for more planting of the damaging eucalyptus tree. The two communities are now connected by bearing the brunt of the new trade in carbon credits. The Carbon Connection follows the story of two groups of people from each community who learned to use video cameras and made their own films about living with the impacts of the carbon market. From mental health issues in Scotland to the loss of medicinal plants in Brazil, the communities discover the connections they have with each other and the film follows them on this journey.
    40 minutes | PAL/NTSC | English/Spanish/Portuguese subtitles
    More information at

  2. ewoc says:

    You are correct – cap and trade systems may not lead to the kind of carbon reductions that we need right now.
    The problem is that the concept of a new “tax” seems politically the equivalent of a “third rail” (touch it, and die) in the US right now. Doesn't seem to matter that it stands the best chance of working, and that it could offset other taxes. The MAIN problem is that none of the candidates who have a chance of actually winning have come anywhere close to endorsing a carbon tax. You may recall that Clinton and Gore did endorse a carbon tax early in their reign, but it got nowhere in Congress.
    We need (one) major political leader to stand up on the national stage RIGHT NOW and endorse this concept. Al Gore has done so – with a well-researched and well-supported plan (a bunch of Nobel Laureates have supported the idea) but he is not running for President. At least not yet.

  3. Steven Carew says:

    Gentlemen your comments are right on the mark. I do not beleive that any government anywhere is actually going to stand up with taxes or any other program that will really help in the fight against glogal warming/pollution. It would be political suicide to do so. Any single politician in any government who does so will just be ganged up on by the others in the organization and that will be that. Instead I believe that the people will have to push the governments into the needed policies. This will not be accomplished by rallies or peticians. What we need to do is find one really good alternative method of combating the problem, secure a group of people whom will back the alternative method and start fixing our planet by ourselves. If this can be accomplished to a small degree then it becomes an example, news, fact, that must be delt with by our governments. We no longer are telling the people whom run this planet to come up with a solution, we are saying we have the solution, see it works, now back us up.
    Steve Carew

  4. PeterW says:

    The Green Party in Canada (probably worldwide) for more than a decade, has been promoting the idea of a Carbon Tax shift.
    It seems simple enough, lower other taxes and compensate by increasing taxes on greenhouse gas emissions. If politicians told people they would reduce or eliminate their income taxes, I'm sure many would not find a Carbon Tax that offensive.
    But then again, were talking about politicians. They're not that bright.

  5. zephyr says:

    Seven Carew wrote:
    …..What we need to do is find one really good alternative method of combating the problem, secure a group of people whom will back the alternative method and start fixing our planet by ourselves…..
    THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES are going to have to do the leading.
    I could not agree more completely with what Steven is saying here.
    Seriously, where is it written that we are required to wait for permission to DO WHAT NEEDS DOING?

  6. blog52 says:

    I just took a test on the Minnesota Public Radio website that was supposed to tell me which presidential candidate most agreed with my views. Several questions had complicated, nuanced options. But on energy policy the only question was “Do you support federal assistance for the production of ethanol and/or biofuel as an alternative to oil?” My only options to answer were yes or no.
    I'm just starting to learn that not all biofuels are alike, and some are creating serious harm to the environment. Do the presidential candidates not know that? Where can I find out what their positions are on biofuels?

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