Traders are already betting on a new global climate deal to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, as talks in Bali on Friday inched towards a two-year negotiating agenda for an expanded global climate pact.
Financiers are buying rights to emit planet-warming greenhouses gases after present Kyoto commitments expire in 2012, hoping that countries will agree new, tougher emissions limits -- and drive demand for such permits.
"It's a great bet," said one trader attending the talks on the tropical Indonesian island. The new, more speculative offsets came at a substantial discount, the trader, who declined to be named, added.
The Kyoto Protocol allows 36 rich countries to meet limits from 2008-12 on their production of greenhouse gases by buying emissions rights from developing nations.
About 190 countries attending the December 3-14 meeting in Bali are edging towards launching negotiations on a successor deal to Kyoto, which is deemed too weak to win the battle against climate change.
Delegates were expected to draft on Saturday the first details of a negotiating agenda.
"You're seeing the hedge funds come in and say this is a great gamble," said Odin Knudsen, managing director of environmental products at JPMorgan Chase and former head of the World Bank's carbon finance unit, which pioneered carbon trading under Kyoto....MORE