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Taking Stock of Climate Change Efforts: As European Carbon Market Falters, CA Expands Cap and Trade to Canada

Unlike many environmental problems, which can be addressed at a local or regional scale, climate change is inherently global in nature: greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions from any source join with historic and contemporary GHG emissions from other sources globally to contribute to the total store of GHGs in the atmosphere.  The global nature of the issue is a key reason why, from the onset of climate change efforts, policymakers and environmentalists have attempted to address GHG emissions at an international scale.

Failure of Kyoto Protocol Leaves Void in International Climate Change Efforts

The primary effort to address climate change at an international scale is the Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997 in connection with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  Unfortunately, through the first “commitment period” (which ended in 2012), the Kyoto Protocol has not achieved expectations, as the two largest GHG emitting countries—China and the United States—never signed the Protocol.  The sense that the Kyoto Protocol will ultimately fail as a climate program was compounded by the inability of negotiators at the 2009 Copenhagen Summit to agree on a framework for climate change mitigation for the period following the end of the first commitment period in 2012.  Since Copenhagen, climate policymakers have looked for a regional model to lead the way to a new international climate framework.

European Trading System in Disarray

With the Kyoto Protocol faltering, hopes have been pinned on the European Union’s climate change program—the Emissions Trading Scheme (“ETS”).  These hopes are rapidly fading.  In the past few months, the ETS has experience significant growing pains, with the price of carbon allowances having dropped from about € 25 per ton in 2008 to below € 3 per ton in April.  Although reductions in GHG emissions in the EU are still on pace to meet the target of the Europe 2020 Strategy (20% lower than 1990 emissions), most analysts believe that carbon prices at this level are too low to spur investment.  The severe drop in carbon allowance prices has led many, including The Economist, to question whether the ETS has any future.

California Expanding its Cap and Trade Program to Canadian Province of Quebec

In the midst of Europe’s difficulties, California has moved forward to link its cap and trade system with that of the Canadian Province of Quebec.

On April 19, 2013, the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) approved a plan to formally link with Quebec beginning on January 1, 2014.  Linkage will create a relatively seamless cap and trade market, with compliance instruments—carbon allowances and offset credits—being interchangeable in the two systems.  California and Quebec will also hold joint auctions of carbon allowances.

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12 thoughts on “Taking Stock of Climate Change Efforts: As European Carbon Market Falters, CA Expands Cap and Trade to Canada

  1. Get up to date: *Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians.
    The only crisis you remaining doomers have to worry about is how your grandkids will explain to their kids how you condemned them to a CO2 death so easily and flippantly and with such sickening childish glee. Your 28 years of needless CO2 panic was war crime. Who’s the neocon again here?
    Your Reefer Madness of Climate Blame/Control is noted in the history books. Nice job girls.
    Science has concluded that CO2 climate crisis is not as real as they say comet hits are because they have never said in 28 years of research that their crisis is as real as they say comet hits are. It’s a 28 year old “maybe” crisis.

  2. Needless, to say, more nonsensical trolling by mememine69.
    Science has essentially concluded that the CO2 climate crisis is just as real as ever. Around 98% of top climate scientists are in agreement with the hypothesis that anthropogenic CO2e emissions are driving the climate in undesirable ways (http://www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12107.full). That overwhelming majority continues, or even increases, as more and more data roll in. But of course mememine69 can’t or won’t see that fact. Where is the true “reefer madness” here?
    And Occupywallstreet is relevant to the discussion how exactly? Oh, that’s right – it isn’t. That’s just another example of nonsense from everyone’s favorite internet troll.

  3. So, the “Crown” is taxing the U.S., again? I thought we did away with that BS over 200 years ago?
    So, CA is to pay the “Crown” a “Carbon Tax” for what reason exactly? The Queen removes CO2 from CA air? Or, The Queen charges to remove CO2 from Canadian air, based upon what exactly?
    Why doesn’t CA pay, say Brazil, for the same service, Brazil may charge a lot less. The Brazilian Rain Forest would probably do a much better job at sucking CO2 out of the air, far better than Canadian trees that hybernate about 1/2 of each year, where the rain forest does NOT hibernate at all.
    But, what will the Canadian trees do with all that tax money that the “Crown” is collecting? Just how do the trees spend it?
    Since CA companies will pass the “Carbon Tax” on to the consumers (U.S. citizens), can those citizens elect to say buy Brazilian rain forest credits? For a lot less? Is this tax deductible? Can I write off Canadian trees as my dependents?
    Now, how can the CA CARB levy a tax on anybody? CARB is a creation/creature of the Executive Branch, which can contribute only Executive powers. But, creating a tax, much less deciding to send it to the “Crown” would take Legislative Branch powers, not Executive Branch Powers. But, even the Legislative Branch can NOT levy/collect any tax for a foreign nation (i.e. Canadian/British “Crown”).
    But the Global Warming thing is failing also. Temperatures have actually gotten COLDER in the last 10 years. Besides rigged data, “agreed upon by the vast majority of all climate scientists” (really? Not true.), how does cooling off = global warming?
    Doug the Climate Troll, please explain these nagging questions.

  4. LOL. Gee, have I graduated to troll status? OK, here goes:
    One, Global warming has not “failed”. Temperatures have not gotten colder over the past 10 years – the bald assertion that they have is out and out false. See here for proof that your statement is false: http://www.climate.gov/#climateWatch. Furthermore, ten years is far too short a time to focus on while addressing climate change. ‘Climate’, by definition, refers to average weather patterns over several decades to centuries.
    Two, your charge that Canada would receive funds taken from California Cap&Trade revenue; is likewise out and out false. Proof of that is to be found here: http://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/nonreg/2013/ghgreductfund13.pdf. In part, this reference states “In 2012, the Legislature passed … three bills … that together establish a framework for developing an investment plan for projects and programs to be funded with Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds. … The implementing legislation establishes a two-step process for allocating funding to State agencies”. Notice that it does not say ‘allocating funding to the Crown’, nor does it say ‘allocating funding to the Queen’. Nor does it say ‘allocating funding to Canadian trees’.

  5. This story does say,
    “CA Expands Cap and Trade to Canada”
    The “Crown” runs Canada, so CA $ going to Canada, does in fact go to the “Crown.” Is that clear enough?

  6. The story does indeed say that CA expands Cap&Trade to Canada. But you err (surprise, surprise) by assuming that such expansion implies that CA will share it’s Cap&Trade proceeds with that country. If CA contributes 7 times as many credits as does Quebec, then they will receive 7 times as much revenue from the joint auctions – meaning that CA Cap&Trade proceeds will remain within CA and will not be ‘given’ to Quebec.
    So, no, Inventor, your ‘argument’ is not “clear enough”. It is in fact still wrong.

  7. Once again I refer you to the language in my reference where it states unequivocally that “The implementing legislation establishes a two-step process for allocating funding to State agencies”. There it is in black and white, Inventor. State Cap&Trade proceeds are to be allocated only to CA state agencies – period.

  8. “Several commenters expressed concerns about the need to develop an ongoing
    process to evaluate any changes to offset protocols that may occur after linkage.
    This process would ensure that Québec’s offset protocols, and the offsets
    protocols of any jurisdiction with which California shall link in the future, meet the
    requirements of AB 32. These requirements specify that offsets credits be real,
    permanent, quantifiable, verifiable, and enforceable, additional to what would
    have otherwise occurred, and represent a no lesser reduction in GHG emissions
    than a California compliance instrument.”
    http://gov.ca.gov/docs/Draft_Linkage_Comment_Response-Attachment_3-02-22-2013.pdf
    Canada “offsets” would be sold to CA emitters. Get it? Canada trees could be an “offset” (because they “sequester” evil carbon), so CA businesses (tax payers) have to buy such offsets, in order to do business (i.e. SCE, Sempra, Shell, … et al). Get it?
    Probably not.
    None so blind as the trolls that dare not see.
    Right Doug the Troll?

  9. Individual CO2 emitters already get a certain number of CO2 emission credits for free from the state of California. It is only in the case that that free allotment is insufficient to cover the amount of CO2 emitted; that the emitter needs to undertake additional actions. In such a case, it is entirely a free choice of each individual CO2 emitter; to either buy CO2 emission credits (from the auction or from other entities that might be selling them), to buy CO2 offsets (from any selling source that complies with California’s AB32 law), or to simply reduce their CO2 emissions. Any of the three choices, or any combination thereof; is a valid compliance path for the CO2 emitter in question. But the important point to note is that these activities do not represent the expenditure of California Cap&Trade proceeds. Instead, they are expenditures of individual CO2 emitters as they work to be compliant with California AB32. Furthermore, the requirement to be AB32 compliant exists regardless of whether California and Quebec enter into a regional Cap&Trade arrangement. So the proposed Cap&Trade arrangement represents no increase to individual emitter expenditures under CA AB32. And as already proven, the proposed arrangement also does not imply any transfer of CA Cap&Trade proceeds to Canada – period.
    Get it? I’m guessing … probably not.

  10. Let’s not forget, Inventor, that your original charge was that the “Crown” would be “taxing” U.S. citizens under the proposed arrangement. That original charge is ludicrous, and demonstrably false. No such foreign tax would be imposed. And as I have amply demonstrated, CA Cap&Trade proceeds (i.e. monies that CA receives as a result of auctioning CO2 emission credits) are likewise not allocated to Canada in any way, shape, or form.
    Your new argument about the selling of Canadian-based CO2 offsets; does not represent a tax at all. As I indicated above, the buying of offsets (foreign-based or domestic) is but one of several options that private entities can choose to exercise as they see fit. And as a private citizen, if you don’t want any of your money going to Canada, you can simply choose not to do business with such private entities that choose to buy Canadian offsets.

  11. Er, I mean … CO2Good. Or is it mememine69? Gee, I get so confused with the troll name/argument swapping. You all sound alike – which is to say, wrong. It would appear that your comment nametag(s) are pretty much irrelevant.
    But in case you actually are separate individuals, my apologies for the confusion. But of course I do not apologize for calling out lies, mistakes, and/or irrelevant comments and postings.

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