Europe’s cap-and-trade system for carbon is in the news: the price for a metric ton of carbon just fell 27% since the start of the year to a new low of $6.37, almost a dollar less than an 8.3 lb. bag of Kingsford charcoal briquettes. Still, that’s over 120 times the price per ton on the Chicago Climate Exchange just before it collapsed two years ago.
California’s carbon trading price is substantially higher at $10 per ton, but its rules don’t allow the price to fall lower.
Getting back to Europe, a UBS analyst in Paris stated: “With current rules (the European Union Emission Trading Scheme) won’t work until 2045, thus carbon is worthless.”
I wonder when the same will be said about carbon on the California market? Unfortunately, it won’t collapse soon enough to prevent higher consumer prices and the exodus of good California jobs.
James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, and one of the most virulent anthropogenic global warming crusaders in the World, thinks carbon trading is corrupt and ineffective. (It’s) a hidden tax … because cap-and-trade increases the cost of energy for the public, as utilities and other industries purchase the right to pollute with one hand, adding it to fuel prices, while with the other hand they take back most of the permit revenues from the government. Costs and profits of the trading infrastructure are also added to the public's energy bill."
"You are choosing the path focused on corporate greed," Hansen told carbon traders.
I agree with Hansen that carbon trading is useless, not just because it breeds corruption, but also is unnecessary. Climate change is natural, and no CO2-reduction scheme will result in a measurable reduction or even slowing. But that won’t stop futile efforts.