The Stuff that Dreams are Made on

The news of a scandal about carbon credits in Russia and Ukraine is unsurprising. The whole system of carbon credits involves paying people not to produce something that we do not want. It is an attempt to create a market in something that is both economically useless and dangerous by bribing industries not to produce the stuff. 
Researchers claim that industries in Russia and Ukraine have been rewarded by carbon credits, a UN scheme, when they have not reduced carbon dioxide emissions and have in some cases increased them. The UN carbon credit scheme is very complicated and because it involves paying for something we do not want – creating a market artificially – is is smothered with detailed regulations to ensure that the scheme rewards the lowering of emissions. Where there are such detailed regulations there are bound to be loopholes that can be exploited. Where there is “free money” there are bound to be those who bend the rules in order to get hold of some of the stuff.

It is naive to imagine that we can restrict carbon dioxide emissions by carbon credits. The whole carbon credit programme has been riddled with fraud and although in some cases the use of a carbon market might have limited emissions taken as a whole it has made no difference.

Carbon credits were devised by officials who became much entranced with their own creation, attempting to use market forces to reduce emissions. They found this an easier way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions than simply taxing those industries who produce carbon dioxide or providing commercial incentives to enable those industries to clean up their acts.

Environmentally, carbon credits are the stuff that dreams are made on, unlike carbon dioxide emissions which are the stuff of nightmares.

 

 

2 Responses

  1. Carbon dioxide is an essential gas in the life cycle. Your breathe it out, plants breathe it in. Hardly the stuff of nightmares.

    • Chris, the poison is in the dose.
      Rob

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