/ hot air trading /
The G8 and free-market environmentalists have been at the forefront of championing a rosy narrative of ‘win-win’ scenarios in which the quest to maximise corporate profits can go hand in hand with addressing the climate crisis. But this is largely an act of faith, as there is no evidence that climate change can be tackled while maintaining an economic growth pattern based on the ever-increasing extraction and consumption of fossil fuels. Carbon trading encourages the industries most dependent on coal, oil and gas to delay shifting away from fossil fuels. There is little incentive for expensive plans for long-term structural change if you can get by in the short term by buying cheap permits-pollution rights from operations that can reduce their emissions.Yet for G8 countries seeking to demonstrate their commitment to climate action, these inherent problems of emissions trading are swept aside in favour of a system that sustains the economic dominance of the most powerful industrialised nations.
Note that: The European energy commissioner has described the carbon-trading scheme as 'a failure' in its first year.
While the Financial Times report that:
A Financial Times investigation has uncovered widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases, suggesting some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not take place.
Others are meanwhile making big profits from carbon trading for very small expenditure and in some cases for clean-ups that they would have made anyway.