Thursday December 4th 2014
According to the Financial Times, ‘the head of the world’s only global carbon market has said the “dumb decisions” of bureaucrats in Brussels have brought the system to the point of near irrelevance.’
Hugh Sealy commented that the UN-backed Clean Development Mechanism had been undermined by a Brussels decision to limit the use of its permits in the EU emissions trading system, the largest scheme of its kind.
Sealy told reporters in Lima, where delegates to this year’s UN climate negotiations are discussing replacement of the UN scheme: “I want to go face to face with those technocrats in Brussels”, adding that he had made vain personal attempts to raise the problem with the European Commission.
The mechanism cultivated out of the 1997 Kyoto protocol, the only treaty that placed countries under a legal obligation to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.
The mechanism was designed to persuade wealthy countries to offset their emissions by funding low-carbon projects in developing countries that generate permits for each tonne of CO2 avoided.
The EU’s decision to restrict the use of these permits was made after criticism that some of the projects which the scheme helped to fund would have been built anyway.
The mechanism has saved developed countries $3.6bn in the cost of complying with the Kyoto protocol. The EU’s decision was heavy-handed, Sealy said: “Why use a machete when you can use a scalpel?”