Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Carbon Credits Take it on the Chin (again)

This month began with a report that Julian O' Halloran prepared BBC File On 4 on the failure of the Emission Trading Scheme, the specific "economic machinery" behind the carbon credit for the European Union. O' Halloran got Ian Pearson, Minister for Climate Change, to admit that the first phase of this scheme had not delivered on its promises; but Pearson hung tough on his conviction that "Phase Two will be a big, big improvement." Phase Two is supposed to run from 2008 to 2012, and now the World Wildlife Fund is ready to declare it a bust "because of the potential for very heavy use of imported credits." In other words we are right back where we were at the beginning of the month with O' Halloran's description of the Scheme as "essentially a permit to pollute." This is the sort of plan that smells of either the economic bubble that O' Halloran declared it to be or a confidence game (or both). Somehow, calling the whole thing a "scheme" gives it just the right connotation!

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