Cheating with Carbon Credits

China is a member of Kyoto, but exempt from meeting greenhouse gas limits.  And China is selling carbon credits to European countries who cannot meet Kyoto!  Let the games begin!

What’s the big deal?  According to the Inter Press Service News Agency, by the end of this year China will have built an additional 200,000 MegaWatts of new power-generating capacity.  And 80% of it will be coal-fired!  This will contribute an additional 1.17 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2010 and eat up a large portion of the Kyoto targeted reductions of 5.5 billion tons – over the same period!  And yet nearly half of the carbon credits on the market are going to China.  Is that a big deal for you?  It is for me.

How about this analogy?

The world’s speed limit is 65 mph, but China is exempt, so they go 85 mph.  However, China has decided to go 75 mph and sell the 10 mph credit to others so they can go 75 mph.

– Kurt A. Boggner

Smoke and mirrors?  You bet.

Chinese environmental laws are less strict, so Chinese projects are easier to get registered at the UN.  According to Business Line, China has locked up 43% of the United Nations CER (certified emission reduction) “carbon credits”.  Three billion USD in carbon credits were traded in the first 9 months of 2006.  That’s a lot of green.  And the word out of China is, “Thank you EDF; keep that “renewable” money coming – while we continue to use our own money installing coal-fired power generation!”  How’s that for a funny joke on the planet?

How about this brillant idea for carbon credits:  invest money in your local utility for local renewable energy sourcing, and let’s all do our job at home – instead of playing games and supporting countries who choose to be the world’s largest polluters and greenhouse offenders.


The Japan Institute of Energy Economics has some interesting info and data.

Explore posts in the same categories: carbon credits, carbon dioxide, China, climate change, coal, energy, environment, global warming, News

2 Comments on “Cheating with Carbon Credits”

  1. ggwfung Says:

    coal is just too easy as an energy source. Just dig this stuff out of the ground, throw it into a fire – and magic, you have electricity.

    The only other really “intuitive” energy source is wind, which of course is highly dependent on where you live.

    But any time things start be being measured, it can become a game. Kyoto included.

    nice post Lars!


  2. resourceful Says:

    Thanks Garry. Yes, it is hard to beat “cheap”. And that is exactly what coal is. Hopefully “green” and “economical” will grow closer together as time goes on.

    “It’s not easy being green.”
    – Kermit the Frog

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