Friday, November 16, 2007

Green protectionism

From The Economist:
FOR those (such as this newspaper) who argue that the only way to avert dangerous climate change is to set a price on CO2 emissions, what's going on in America's Congress is excellent news. A bill to set such a price has achieved a remarkable degree of cross-party support (see article). Federal emissions controls in America are essential to tackling climate change globally. So it is especially unfortunate that the bill includes a provision that would turn the fight against climate change into a tool for protectionists....MORE
Also from The Economist:

Coal power
Still going strong

...Using coal to generate electricity produces more greenhouse gases per resulting watt than using oil or natural gas, but coal is cheap. In countries where there are no limits on emissions and where demand for power is growing rapidly, such as India and China, coal is booming. Energy lore has it that in China a new coal-burning plant is fired up every week.

What is certain is that China has become a net importer of coal for the first time this year. India's imports have been growing steadily for the past 20 years. The International Energy Agency, an energy watchdog for rich countries, projects that demand for coal will grow by 2.2% a year until 2030—faster than demand for oil or natural gas. Coal-mining firms in Indonesia and Australia, the biggest exporters, are digging as fast as they can but are still struggling to cope with the surge in orders. Freighters are literally queuing up off Newcastle, Australia, the world's busiest coal port....