November 20, 2006

Carbon trading

Follow-up to Rainforests from Chris' blog

If they (people in power) could get this carbon trading thing going in Europe and if it ever got to an international level of trading it would do exactly what I proposed in my previous blog. Countries with rainforests would get rich by selling carbon credits to the rest of the world. The idea would be to get to the stage where the carbon going into the system balances the carbon going out. As there wouldn’t be enough carbon to go around this would push the prices high and companies would do all the little things they could to reduce emmisions. Such as planes with solar panels on the top to power the internal electronics. If the prices of carbon credits were high then these little things could make real savings.

On the other side countries with rainforrests would be trying to maximise the amount of carbon credits they could sell by halting the degradation of the forests and even trying to redevelop them. I imagine rainforest conservation would become a big business, employing a huge numbers of workers.

Realistically, it would need the US and china to get on board and as they would be the biggest losers in the system I can’t see that happening anytime soon. But if carbon trading could get off the ground in Europe it would be a start.

June 03, 2005


Email to g8 summit representative:

I know that climate change will also be a big issue at this years summit. I think it would be a good idea to pay the countries with rainforests. Pay them in rates per acre. So they more they conserve the more money they get. The problem with free markets (great though they are most of the time) is that they only put value on products that can be packaged and sold to consumers. Hence the rainforests, possibly the most valueable assets on the planet are being chopped down because they can not make money for the countries they are in (or they can only make money by being chopped down). We are in the rediculous situtation, where rich countries are trying to prevent rainforest recession, while the rainforest countries are chopping down the forest to make room for farms in order to make money to pay off debts to the rich countries. If the rainforest coutries could put a bubble round their coutries and sell oxygen to the rest of the world as a utility like gas or electrity then the rainforest would have commercial value. As this would be a rather silly idea it is the responsibility of the rest of the planet to pay the correct amount for the upkeep of the rainforest and not its market value as potential farmland. Whether the other countries pay proportional to net carbon emmisions, oxygen use, or some other rate or combination of rates I don’t know but one thing is clear is that the rainforest countries are not getting a fair price for conserving the most valuable assets on the planets and it would be in everybodies interests to make sure they do. Just think of all the people these coutries could employ if they got anywhere near the true value for keeping the rainforest. These people could be trained in conserving and studying the rainforest and with all these extra people we could potentially find the cures to many diseases. Scientists believe that the cures for many of the worlds diseases could be found in the rainforests. Instead of saying isn’t it a shame that the cure for aids may have just been lost in the last section of deforestation, lets do something about it. Its not charity these countries need and not international pressure. All they need is the rest of the world to give them what is rightfully theirs.

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