[p2p-research] P2P Carbon trading - stage one

Robin robokow at gmail.com
Thu Nov 19 17:54:52 CET 2009

On Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 3:22 PM, Ryan Lanham <rlanham1963 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> However, I think carbon trading is the wrong approach altogether. If
>> it is clear that we should be emitting less Carbon Dioxide, then
>> larger businesses and governments should be looking at how to change
>> the systems that entities are using. It seems logical that this would
>> more rapidly decrease emissions than offsets, and trading. I suppose I
>> could be wrong about that. Carbon trading looks more and more like a
>> shell game to me...
> The economic theory would be that cap and trade offers aggregate
> restrictions while giving firms room to maneuver.  If you can lower costs by
> innovating and producing less carbon, then do so and sell your credits.  If
> others cannot so innovate, then gradually raise prices and buy credits.  The
> results of such systems have been generally good but less than ideal.

As I remember from my research 8 years ago, they have been generally
good when the total amount of the market is little and when we talk of
a closed loop. One example include I believe a specific toxic in the
US in the 80s?

One of the problems with the current schemes is that this is far from
reality. The market we talk about here is huge. Encompassing billions
potentially (especially when markers get even merged), including
loopholes and an allocation of carbon credits based on "the biggest
mouth gets most rights".

Just a quick google on carbon trading + loopholes bring these ones up:

Loophole breeds speculation in EU carbon market
EU’s carbon market threatened by loophole

One of the things that really bothers me for example is a recent
example of the Dutch government. They argue in favour of new
coalplants with the argument that the country can get a competitive
advantage in offsetting carbon (mostly by putting it under the ground)
and that Dutch companies could sell this tech further to China.
Climate change is realpolitics pur sang which is not bringing us any
further. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realpolitik

How to design a climate system that promotes green "free" technology ?

> The good news in my opinion is that C&T forces tight measures and reduces
> burdens on governments--and the right wing of business hates
> governments...and won't generally cooperate with it.  This way there are
> economic incentives for the conventional anti-government crowd to do the
> right things.
> All in all I am relunctantly pro C&T..  It isn't perfect, but it is probably
> the best and quickest compromise position.  We all wish compromises weren't
> necessary, but in a world of differences, you either have power or
> compromise.  In my book, given the past, I'll take compromise every time.
> Ryan
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