How about this way of looking at the carbon problem.

  • We need to have a way of allowing people to develop and use their expertise more in reducing carbon – there are so many ideas and schemes, some inclination, some of it will work better than others, and the pathway forward is to pick the right schemes and drop the weak ones. In this I include technology, business and policy schemes.

 

  • There needs to be a way of keeping score (a bit like money in the commercial world) and ETS is probably good for this, so long as the price of an emission credit is equivalent to the cost of avoiding carbon emissions (which it would be, if there was no surplus of allowances in the market and the ETS cost was a factor in people’s decision making). Many people believe that the money system is bad for society, they have a point, but we still stick with it, even if just as a means for keeping track of who is where! The same with ETS allowances.

 

  • Currently there is an emphasis on ETS as the driver – ETS isn’t really the driver though (like money isn’t the ‘driver’ of business). Eg people should be talking about schemes to cut carbon emissions at lower cost than the ETS price and how they can make a profit that way.

 

  • It all points to getting the ETS system working as the main way forward though, even if other commercial schemes (such as Red Hydrocarbon type scheme) can work in parallel with it (with convertible credits)!

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