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

A man wearing a protective mask sits on the lawn in front of the Australian Parliament house in Canberra, Australia on Jan. 1, 2020. The level of air pollution in Canberra is the highest in the world on some days. Daniiielc / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Researchers now say there is "no safe level" of air pollution exposure after a large-scale study found a correlation between exposure to fine particle matter, known as PM2.5, and cardiac arrests, according to the The Sydney Morning Herald.

Read More
The British Medical Journal announced a fossil fuel divestment campaign. Andrew Matthews / PA Images via Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

Respected medical journal The BMJ drew praise online from climate activists and medical professionals for its newly-announced fossil fuel divestment campaign.

Read More
Sponsored
A roller coaster on the Jersey Shore flooded after Hurricane Sandy. Photo credit: Hurricane_Sandy_New_Jersey_Pier.jpg: Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen / U.S. Air Force / New Jersey National Guard / CC BY 2.0

New Jersey will be the first state in the U.S. to require builders to take the climate crisis into consideration before seeking permission for a project.

Read More
Workers selectively harvest slightly under-ripe Syrah grapes to make a Blanc de Noir wine for the Israeli winery Zaza on Aug. 6, 2019 in central Israel. Israeli vintners are harvesting their grapes earlier than they did a decade ago due to shorter winters and more intense summers. David Silverman / Getty Images

The climate crisis may be coming for your favorite wines.

Read More
An aerial view of a neighborhood destroyed by the Camp Fire on Nov. 15, 2018 in Paradise, Calif. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Respecting scientists has never been a priority for the Trump Administration. Now, a new investigation from The Guardian revealed that Department of the Interior political appointees sought to play up carbon emissions from California's wildfires while hiding emissions from fossil fuels as a way to encourage more logging in the national forests controlled by the Interior department.

Read More