Friday, September 21, 2007

Carbon Credits in China and Auctioning Carbon Permits in the USA

I had promised, in the post "What Planet is the U.N. Living On" , to tie together the carbon racket called the CDM, as practiced in China.

I didn't get around to it. Instead, I'll let the pros at the New York Times give you some background as I sort through the link-vault.

I strongly urge you to think through the winners and losers if a U.S. Cap-and-Trade system is a) implemented and b) auctions the permits as proposed by a pretty large coalition.

From the NYT:

Outsize Profits, and Questions, in Effort to Cut Warming Gases

QUZHOU, China — Foreign businesses have embraced an obscure United Nations-backed program as a favored approach to limiting global warming. But the early efforts have revealed some hidden problems.

Under the program, businesses in wealthier nations of Europe and in Japan help pay to reduce pollution in poorer ones as a way of staying within government limits for emitting climate-changing gases like carbon dioxide, as part of the Kyoto Protocol.

Among their targets is a large rusting chemical factory here in southeastern China. Its emissions of just one waste gas contribute as much to global warming each year as the emissions from a million American cars, each driven 12,000 miles.

Cleaning up this factory will require an incinerator that costs $5 million — far less than the cost of cleaning up so many cars, or other sources of pollution in Europe and Japan.

Yet the foreign companies will pay roughly $500 million for the incinerator — 100 times what it cost. The high price is set in a European-based market in carbon dioxide emissions. Because the waste gas has a far more powerful effect on global warming than carbon dioxide emissions, the foreign businesses must pay a premium far beyond the cost of the actual cleanup.

The huge profits from that will be divided by the chemical factory’s owners, a Chinese government energy fund, and the consultants and bankers who put together the deal from a mansion in the wealthy Mayfair district of London....MORE