A group representing some of the world's leading banks will urge the United States and other industrial nations this week to move quickly to introduce a lightly regulated system for trading carbon emissions permits.
Permit-trading offers banks a potentially vast new business. For it to grow, leading economies - particularly the United States - will need to set limits on the quantities of greenhouse gases that can be released and to allow companies in other parts of the world to buy emissions permits.
"Where politicians opt to implement carbon constraints, then it should be cap-and-trade," said Imtiaz Ahmad, head of emissions trading at Morgan Stanley in London and vice president of a lobbying group called International Carbon Investors and Services, which is being created to represent the banks.
The banking companies, which include Citigroup, Lehman Brothers Holdings and Morgan Stanley, are giving strong signs that Wall Street wants Washington to open the way to reduced emissions using a trading system based on the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement the United States did not ratify, rather than by enacting carbon taxes.
The group also includes European institutions like BNP Paribas, Barclays Capital and Deutsche Bank, as well as niche investment banks like Climate Change Capital and the law firms of Baker & McKenzie and DLA Piper....MORE