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Re: SC72

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July 27, 2008 06:00PM
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Goldstein_Lorrie/2008/07/26/6275421-sun.php

Carbon credits' dirty secret

................The reality has been a fiasco.

First, buying and selling carbon credits doesn't remove one molecule of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Second, carbon credits weren't designed to lower emissions. They were designed to shift emissions around. Practically speaking, they will delay the day when we start lowering them.

Their present purpose is simply to permit developed countries and their industries to keep emitting carbon, so long as they pay a huge financial price for it by subsidizing the developing world.

Meaning, so long as we pay that price in higher energy costs.

In theory, it's the "cap" on emissions that's supposed to lower them -- both Kyoto's global cap and the caps developed nations set in operating "cap-and-trade" carbon markets.

Problem is, these so-called "hard caps" have turned out to be hair nets.

They're riddled with holes and megatonnes of carbon emissions are pouring through them into our atmosphere, the exact opposite of what politicians have told us these "caps" are designed to do.

Kyoto's biggest carbon "leak" is that under it, only 37 countries, including us, have to lower emissions while 143, including China, India and the rest of the developing world, don't.

Indeed, Kyoto as designed, guarantees future emission increases, not decreases.

Further, Kyoto's program awarding carbon credits to industrialized nations for financing carbon abatement projects in the developing world, is now facing allegations of corruption, profiteering and ineffectiveness.

GROWING CRITICISM

There's also growing criticism many of those projects would have gone ahead anyway without carbon credits, meaning they aren't keeping any additional carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

As for carbon trading outside the UN, the world's largest cap-and-trade market is Europe's Emissions Trading Scheme. Its annual carbon emissions are rising, while big energy companies and energy speculators have made windfall profits and consumers have been hit hard by skyrocketing electricity bills.

The ETS' biggest mistake? Participating governments initially gave away more free carbon credits to companies than the combined total of all their emissions, destroying the purpose of cap-and-trade, which is to give out less..............
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