With EU firms cutting production and selling off excess carbon permits allocated by national governments, the global financial crisis may make it cheaper for corporations in Europe to comply with EU’s carbon plans, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The price of a carbon permit under Europe’s cap-and-trade scheme has dropped 15 percent in the last two weeks, reaching an 8-month low of €20.
Big polluters are likely to snap up cheaper permits instead of investing to clean up their operations; a move that concerns environmentalists, who say that for the system to work, carbon prices have to be expensive enough that polluters will want to install cleaner technologies.
The alternative fuel industry is also seeing a decline in investment amid the financial crisis, as drops in oil prices dull enthusiasm for renewable energy.
Tim Hanlin, managing director of the Australian Climate Exchange, has a different view. Hanlin says global recession may mean that global warming is also slowing down because industries are producing less, therefore emitting less CO2.