Sunday, June 17, 2007

Emission impossible for carbon trading

Emission Impossible: access to JI/CDM credits in phase II of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme

Importing credits could make it cheaper for EU industry to reduce emissions. But access to significant volumes of credits from overseas as now seems likely in phase II could disincentivise investment in clean technology development in these sectors in the EU and slow down innovation.

Crucially, it could help to “lock in” decisions on high-carbon infrastructure which will have a significant impact on EU emissions for many years to come.

The developed world is responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions. If the EU is to maintain its status as a major player in global climate change negotiations then it must put its own back yard in order first and ensure that Europe is placed firmly on a path towards a low carbon economy. The ETS will not contribute towards achieving this if it continues to transfer most of the responsibility for tackling climate change to the developing world and allow the sectors within the scheme to simply buy their way out of the problem.

In combination with concerns over additionality - the decisions to allow access to large volumes of credits also raises serious questions about the extent to which the ETS will deliver significant emissions reductions during phase II.

From the WWF-UK