Emissions Trading – a triumph of hope over reality

The European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme was doomed from the start. I have always held that you cannot use the devices of the casino to reduce emissions. You can tax emissions, making them more costly to produce and creating an incentive to encourage ways of using clean renewable emissions, but to set up a system where emission producers can speculate on the price of carbon dioxide, which is a commodity that no one wants and no one can use, as a way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, will make no difference to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are produced. Continue reading

The Aviation Stand-off

China has announced that its airlines will not be allowed to pay the EU tax on airline carbon emissions that applies to aircraft flying to or from the European Union without the specific approval of relevant government departments. The airlines of China will not be allowed to participate in the Emissions Savings Scheme without similar clearance. Continue reading

Emissions Trading – good for business but bad for the environment

Europe’s Emissions Trading System has been around a few years. It has had many teething problems, including some shocking cases of fraud and governmental incompetence, and I have always argued against the ETS as being fundamentally flawed. Trying to us the same kind of devices to reduce emissions that brought banks and economies to their knees is simply foolish. Continue reading

Emission Trading – Structurally Defficient

Virtually everything can be exploited or misused. The internet is a powerful force for good and evil. Armed forces can be saviours or destroyers of life. Religion can be misrepresented or communicated perfectly. Humans are the element that can turn a device from one than helps into one that hinders and obstructs. Continue reading

Controlling climate change by opening a betting shop

The European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme remains suspended following revelations that Euros 30 million worth of certificates have been stolen and sold. There is no certain date when spot trading will begin again, so if you have emissions certificates that you wish to sell or certificates that you wish to buy, you cannot do so right now. Continue reading

Closing down the carbon exchange

When I first learned about the proposal to use a system of carbon credits and carbon trading as the main means of defeating climate change I was sceptical. This concept, pushed by the United Kingdom, seemed to me, to use the very devices that brought banking and the economies of many nations to their knees. I wrote then that the system was bound to fail in its objectives to reduce emissions and argued that what we needed was more measures, as opposed to measures to encourage measures. I also expressed concerns that the system would be rife with fraud. Continue reading

Emissions Trading is not working

If there was ever any real indication of the failure of the use of market mechanism in an attempt to reduce carbon dioxide emissions it is the news that carbon emission brokers have been laid off in large numbers by their broking firms. The recession has cut the amount of emissions being created, rather than measures, and the artificiality of carbon markets has left, in these circumstances a surfeit of carbon saving instruments on the market with very few buyers. Continue reading

The Emissions Trading Scheme – a conduit for fraud

One of the disadvantages of the emissions Trading Scheme launched by the European Union (and it is only one of the many disadvantages), is that the provisions of the Scheme has made Value Added tax fraud rather easy. The authorities have tried to clamp down of Value Added tax fraud but it has not been easy. Although the rules of the ETS are the same across the whole of the European Union each member state has different VAT rates and different tax rules, and it is these differences that fraudsters have been exploiting. Continue reading

The likely result of the next climate change conference

The next climate change conference will be held in Mexico in December. I sincerely hope that it will not be as wasteful of time resources and emissions as the last climate change conference that was held in Copenhagen. Prospects for an agreement to reduce emissions – any agreement – look, at this stage, to be very bleak. Continue reading

The 2010 Budget and its environmental aspect

Today in the United Kingdom the Chancellor of the Exchequer – effectively the finance minister of the country – laid out his budget statement. Mr Darling headlined his budget as one to secure the recovery. What recovery? Well, the bankers have seen their bonuses recover greatly but for most ordinary people the recession is a reality and the recovery a myth. The environmental impact of the budget is dealt with separately these days, and that is a “Good Thing” because it enables us to see the actual measures that will affect the environment in some detail. Continue reading