Quantcast

China Cap-and-Trade Program Not What the Climate Needs

Climate

The reported move by China to enact a cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions will not begin to solve our climate crisis. Pollution trading signifies a dangerous reliance on the market to address a problem that only a decisive move away from fossil fuels and to renewables can truly solve.

Through a system of "credits" and dubious and unverifiable offsets, cap-and-trade programs essentially create a commodity out of pollution, allowing for financial corporations to profit from polluting industries.

Furthermore, scrutiny of such programs show they don’t work. A recent analysis of the Joint Implementation program enacted under the Kyoto Protocol in Europe found that only 14 percent of the claimed greenhouse gas reduction offsets under the program were even "plausible." The offset program resulted in the equivalent of about 600 million additional metric tons of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere.

It’s ironic this announcement comes as Pope Francis visits the U.S. In his encyclical earlier this year, the Pope called carbon trading programs a form of speculation, cautioning they "may simply become a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors."

If we truly want to reduce carbon emissions, we must enact policies that truly move our world into a renewable energy future. We must start by banning fracking and extreme energy extraction.

The Paris climate talks must center around policies that will move us decisively away from fossil fuels, not schemes to allow the financial industry to continue profiting from our climate crisis.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Elon Musk: Refugee Crisis Just a Glimpse of What’s to Come If World Ignores Climate Change

Pope Francis’ Words to Congress: A Rallying Call for Climate Action

Colorado Supreme Court to Make Historic Ruling on Fracking Bans

Obama, Sanders, Kennedy Praise Pope’s Call to Action on Climate Change

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The staircase to a subway station in SOHO with a temporary closure, flood control installation sign. Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

The Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York City tested out a new system designed to protect its subways stations from flooding when another super storm hits, creating a bizarre sight on Wednesday, as The Verge reported.

Read More Show Less
Flat-lay of friends eating vegan and vegetarian Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving dinner with pumpkin pie, roasted vegetables, fruit and rose wine. Foxys_forest_manufacture / Royalty-free / iStock / Getty Images

Thanksgiving can be a tricky holiday if you're trying to avoid animal products — after all, its unofficial name is Turkey Day. But, as more and more studies show the impact of meat and dairy consumption on the Earth, preparing a vegan Thanksgiving is one way to show gratitude for this planet and all its biodiversity.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Residents wear masks for protection as smoke billows from stacks in a neighborhood next to a coal fired power plant on Nov. 26, 2015 in Shanxi, China. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

While most of the world is reducing its dependence on coal-fired power because of the enormous amount of greenhouse gases associated with it, China raised its coal fired capacity over 2018 and half of 2019, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less
Children run on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail in California. Bureau of Land Management

By Matt Berger

It's not just kids in the United States.

Children worldwide aren't getting enough physical activity.

That's the main conclusion of a new World Health Organization (WHO) study released Wednesday.

Read More Show Less

By Tim Ruben Weimer

Tanja Diederen lives near Maastricht in the Netherlands. She has been suffering from Hidradenitis suppurativa for 30 years. Its a chronic skin disease in which the hair roots are inflamed under pain — often around the armpits and on the chest.

Read More Show Less