Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cap and Trade Not Enough to Cut Carbon - Goldman Sachs

Okay I'll bite, what's the angle? Cui bono anyone?
From New Values Community:

Capping and trading carbon emissions will not be enough to fight output of the gases blamed for warming the planet, the managing director of Goldman Sachs' US carbon emissions desk said on Thursday. The bank's carbon head Ken Newcombe was emphatic that cap and trade has huge potential in the United States, the world's largest energy consumer. But government research and development budgets should also be boosted to complement cap and trade's potential to spur innovations and investments in carbon-cutting techniques, he said. "I'm not at all convinced from what we've seen internationally that a cap and trade regime and a price on carbon is going to motivate investment in truly transformational technologies," Newcombe said at a carbon policy forum in New York.

Capturing carbon dioxide emissions at coal and natural gas-burning power plants for permanent burial underground is one unproven technology that is expensive, while other technologies, such as cutting vehicles emissions, may also need research funds.

The US Congress is considering several bills that would aim to cut emissions by capping them and creating a market to trade credits representing them,

So far, the center of global climate trade has been based in Europe, which ratified the Kyoto Protocol and set up mandatory emissions trade. Billions of dollars worth of emissions credits have traded hands in Europe, but red tape has also delayed trade in carbon offsets, or investments in emissions reductions in developing countries.

Banks like Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse have formed New York climate desks ahead of US regulations, in part because the country could be a big buyer of global credits if world carbon markets eventually link up.

"A remarkable transformation is about to take place," said Newcombe. "The US, which is not significant in the global carbon market today at all, (and engages in) purely voluntary trade...will become not only a major player in its own right, but potentially a major source of demand in the Kyoto-based markets," he said....MORE