European Carbon Markets Fail - It's Time for Regulation
NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY

European Carbon Markets Fail - It's Time for Regulation


Patrick Bond: Carbon markets are now at "junk bond" status but US sabotages all attempts at binding emission targets -   October 3, 14
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


Audio

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter



The Real News is a vital answer to The New York Times, the house organ of the oligarchs. - Al Salzman
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

Bio

Patrick Bond is the Director of the Center for Civil Society and Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Bond is the author of the recently released books, South Africa - The Present as History (with John Saul) and the 3rd edition of Elite Transition. He is also the co-editor of BRICS: An Anti-Capitalist Critique.

Transcript

European Carbon Markets Fail - It's Time for RegulationJESSICA DESVARIEUX, PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. And welcome to the latest edition of The Patrick Bond Report.

Patrick Bond is the director of the Centre for Civil Society and professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Bond is the author and editor of the books Politics of Climate Justice and Durban's Climate Gamble.

Thank you for joining us, Patrick.

PATRICK BOND, DIRECTOR, CENTRE FOR CIVIL SOCIETY: Great to be with you again. Thanks, Jessica.

DESVARIEUX: So, Patrick, what is the latest news? What are you tracking in the environmental world?

BOND: Well, it's really a time for the big-picture problems, because the major climate strategies are now in question as of a vote on Tuesday, April 16 in the European Union not to bail out the European Union Emission Trading Scheme. That's the carbon market that was started with the 1997 Kyoto Protocol's mandate. And the idea was to put a cap on emissions and slowly bring that cap down and allow companies and governments to trade the ability to pollute within that cap, and then to be able to sell the right to those that were more efficient, and therefore maximize economic output while still achieving emissions reductions.

And the problem is it just hasn't worked at all. In fact, Union Bank of Switzerland estimated that over $300 billion has been wasted because none of the anticipated outcomes have materialized.

And the big problem for the European carbon market: price is down to under €3 a ton. I think it [trVft] down at about €2.50. And that's from peaks, 2008, 2006, of over €30. So this is a market that's sorely distressed because the European economy is in such a recession, and the pollution levels therefore don't warrant this big rush to buy the carbon emissions reduction certificates.

So with that problem, with several major mainstream environmental groups and many of the policymakers now in a quandary, The Economist magazine this week asked, is this now a junk bond style market? And Time magazine asked, if it can't work in Europe, can this carbon market strategy to reduce emissions work anywhere, just as California's up and running this year, as Australia, New Zealand, and some of the emerging markets are also thinking about it?

So I think it's an important moment, and the left, the climate justice movement, with about 50 different organizations, saying, scrap the ETS, scrap this emissions trading scheme, and instead let's move to the regulatory strategy that would be tried and tested and much quicker, much more effective.

And then the big question is: will Europeans eschew the bankers' strategy and move to a regulatory strategy?

DESVARIEUX: Another question is: do you believe this is a matter of just having enough political will to get these mandated emission cuts?

BOND: Well, Jessica, that's indeed the proponents' argument, and it is worth considering, because the major polluters, now number one China and number two the United States, they were part of a sabotage of the European Union's emissions trading scheme, the Kyoto Protocol, and the entire United Nations back in 2009 at the conference of the parties in the Copenhagen United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change summit. So that COP, COP15, was followed by Cancun and by Durban, and last year by Doha, and in each of these COPs, these conference of the parties, Washington really has been hell-bent on sabotaging the idea that there should be binding emissions cuts.

So they set up their own strategy, the Copenhagen accord, and they got four other countries to join up. And this is the big question now. Those countries, the basic countries, Brazil, South Africa, India, and China—and they were joined here in Durban last month. And they're now called BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa group. And that's a bloc economically that's the largest in the world. The GDP is about $20 trillion. In comparison, the U.S. and the E.U. are around $15 trillion.

That means that these economies, especially fast-growing China with its massive industrial output—it's really outsourced a lot of the emissions from Europe and the United States. Will it be in a position to finally start addressing its vast environmental problems? You know, the last few weeks in China, people in Beijing, Shanghai have been unable to go outdoors without risk of respiratory disease, Jessica. So the question is: will these new leaders—. And we had the first visit by Xi Jinping, the new Chinese premier, outside China for the Durban BRICS. And I didn't get a sense that they had any intention whatsoever.

I must say, Jessica, what we really found here in Durban was something similar to Berlin in 1885, namely, a carving up of Africa. That means the attempt here was to assure that the minerals, petroleum, the gas, the cash crops, would go from the mines and the plantations across the railroads and the roads and the bridges out to the ports, much like the old colonial powers in Berlin when they carved up Africa, set up the ridiculous borders, and assured more efficient extraction. And we really had a very clear sense that the objective of the Durban BRICS summit was rather similar and there was no intention whatsoever of addressing the huge social and ecological and economic aspects of the recourse curse of Africa with the kind of maldevelopment that we've seen with, especially, minerals and petroleum on the continent.

So it doesn't really look very promising unless activists in these countries—and there was a BRICS from below countersummit here in Durban. And it may well be that over time, like the World Social Forum being held at the same time in Tunisia, at the end of last month, a revitalized movement of civil society is going to be the necessary check to get these big, big economies to finally address their huge emissions.

DESVARIEUX: Well, we'll certainly continue to track this story. Thank you so much for joining us, Patrick.

BOND: Thank you.

DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


Comments

Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

Comments


Latest Stories


As Legal Proceedings Commence in Freddie Gray Case, Feds Probe Past Police Killings
Extraordinary Brutality Inflicted on Civilians in Yemen
India's Economy Can Grow Without Increasing Carbon Emissions
The Media Assassin and Shooting the Enemy
Racing to a Dead End - Heiner Flassbeck on Reality Asserts Itself (2/5)
Pocomoke to Attorney General: Reason for Secret Meeting is Secret
Mediterranean Refugee Crisis Escalating
As Trial Approaches, What Has Changed Since Freddie Gray's Killing?
Who "Recovered" in Post-Katrina New Orleans?
The Global African: W. Kamau Bell & The Crisis in Detroit
Members of Syriza's Central Committee Defecting to Popular Unity
Bullock Trial Begins Friday
Why is Sanders Silent on U.S. Foreign Policy?
Reaganism and Thatcherism were Intellectually Dishonest - Heiner Flassbeck on Reality Asserts Itself (1/5)
First Canadian Officer Convicted for Mass Arrests at 2010 G-20 Toronto Summit
What Would Happen to the Eurozone if Greece Leaves?
Katrina Victims Were Forced into Exile
National Day of Action Pushes Democratic Senators to Support Iran Deal
International Law and "The Responsibility to Protect" - Vijay Prashad on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
Days of Revolt: State Violence and Counter Violence
The Sky Is Not Falling? China's Stock Market Impact
Why is Saudi Arabia Now Supporting the Iran Deal?
The PLO's "Game of Musical Chairs"
GRITtv with Laura Flanders: New Orleans and the Economics of Recovery
Chelsea Manning, the Nuremberg Charter and Refusing to Collaborate with War Crimes - Vijay Prashad on Reality Asserts Itself (3/4)
A Fire In My Soul
Smoke and Mirrors of Corporate Buybacks Behind the Market Crash
Computer Voting and Stealing Democracy
Questioning the Underlying Structures of Property and Power is "Off the Table" - Vijay Prashad on Reality Asserts Itself (2/4)
AIPAC Spending Millions to Defeat Iran Deal, But Efforts Are Falling Flat

RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting