Azara Blog: EU heavy industry emissions up by 1.1% in 2007

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Date published: 2008/04/02

The BBC says:

Carbon dioxide emissions from Europe's heavy industry sectors rose by 1.1% in 2007, say carbon market analysts.

The estimate is based on initial data from the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which includes more than 10,000 large industrial plants.

Environmentalists say it shows that the scheme, the EU's main mechanism to meet its Kyoto target, is not working.

But market watchers say the ETS, in the long term, will help deliver the EU goal of cutting emissions by 20%.

It would be better to have a carbon tax than the ETS, which has been, and can be, gamed. On the other hand, the so-called environmentalists are wrong (as usual). This rise does not show that the scheme "is not working". First of all, it is only one year, and anybody who treats one data point as significant of anything is more interested in political posturing than in reality. Secondly, we have no way of knowing what would have happened without the ETS. The rise could easily have been more. Unfortunately, there is one fatal flaw of the ETS, and of any scheme that just involves Europe, namely that to get around the tax, European countries can just export (at least some of) their emissions to China (and elsewhere).

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