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

An artist's rendering of the recomposition facility. MOLT Studios

Washington became the first U.S. state to legalize human composting Tuesday, offering residents a more environmentally friendly way to dispose of their remains, AFP reported.

Read More Show Less
Mr.TinDC / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Adda Bjarnadottir, MS

Many nutrients are essential for good health.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
albedo20 / Flickr

By Pat Thomas

Throughout the U.S., major food brands are trying to get rid of GMO ingredients — not necessarily for the right reasons, but because nearly half of consumers say they avoid them in their food, primarily for health reasons.

But the CEO of Impossible Foods, purveyor of the Impossible Burger, is bucking that trend.

Read More Show Less
People in more than 100 countries are expected to take part in well over 1,000 strikes on May 24 to demand climate action from their governments. @ExtinctionR / Twitter

By Julia Conley

Two months after what was reportedly the largest international climate demonstration ever, young people around the world are expected to make history again on Friday with a second global climate strike.

Read More Show Less
DoneGood

By Cullen Schwarz

Ethical shopping is a somewhat new phenomenon. We're far more familiar with the "tried and tested" methods of doing good, like donating our money or time.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Asian elephants frolic in Kaudulla Wewa at Kaudulla National Park in central Sri Lanka. David Stanley / CC BY 2.0

When it comes to saving some of the planet's largest animals, a group of researchers says that old methods of conservation just won't cut it anymore.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

A low-fat diet that prioritizes eating healthier foods like fruits and vegetables each day could lower the risk a woman's risk of dying from breast cancer, according to a multi-decade study published this month.

Read More Show Less
smcgee / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Several New York City Starbucks exposed customers to a potentially deadly pesticide, two lawsuits filed Tuesday allege.

Read More Show Less