• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Will Carbon Trading End Up like the Subprime Mortgage Crisis?

    Vincent de Rivaz, CEO of the UK arm EDF energy, made an interesting but frightening comparison when talking about trading carbon credits under the European Union’s cap-and-trade program:

    We like certainty about a carbon price. [But] the carbon price has to become simple and not become a new type of sub-prime tool which will be diverted from what is its initial purpose: to encourage real investment in real low-carbon technology.

    We are at the tipping point where we … should wonder if we have in place the right balance between government policy, regulator responsibility and the market mechanism which will deliver the carbon price.”

    This came immediately after “the Guardian revealed that steelmakers and hedge funds were cashing in ETS carbon credits obtained for free, causing the price of carbon to plunge. The price of carbon has slumped from €30 a tonne to below €12, leading to a tail-off in clean-technology offset projects in the developing world.”

    A similar trading scheme would like occur in the United States if we adopt a cap-and-trade plan to reduce carbon dioxide, as suggested by California Rep. Henry Waxman, chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

    But the reality is the ebbs and flows of the market are causing a number of hiccups in the EU’s carbon trading plan. As a result, electricity prices are up, windfall profits are plentiful, and carbon reduction is negligible.

    Do we really want to enter into our own version of carbon trading, which could result in a rendition of environmental subprime mortgages? Look at where subprime lending got us. Now imagine adopting a carbon trading system on a global level. Carbon trading undoubtedly fails the cost-benefit litmus test: Very high cost, very little (if any) benefit.

    There’s also the possibility that carbon trading will be fraught with corruption, manipulation, noncompliance and mismanagement, especially if the government is running the show. In fact, the more I think of it, the more it does remind me of the subprime mortgage crisis.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Will Carbon Trading End Up like the Subprime Mortgage Crisis?

    1. Ozzy6900, CT (The Bl says:

      This is complete madness! Carbon Trading, Carbon Credits, Carbon Reduction – this is really going to the realm of insanity!

    2. Thomas Gray South Ca says:

      I have concluded the very same, it's a mental illness of some sort. Just stop using FF and [ Except for elite activist ] let everyone suffer the consequence's.

    3. Fred Bielat, Niles I says:

      All this carbon stuff is political science rather than sound environmental science. Where's the debate? If you question it, you are all but thrown in jail….and that may be next! Sounds like communism to me. Anyone aggree?

    4. The carbon market is one of the fastest growing financial markets in the world today. it should be managed properly to create healthy environment.
      The explosive growth of the carbon market in the last 5 years has established it as one of the fastest growing financial markets worldwide. According to a World Bank report (“State and Trends of the Carbon Market 2011”), the market’s worth expanded to US$ 142 billion in 2010 from US$ 10 billion just 5 years prior to that.

      for more information visit http://www.emergent-ventures.com/

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.