I think it is a legitimate political question if we should curb economic activities in order to decrease carbon emission or not. But I see no reason to let the EU ETS going on: the quota trading system based on the Kyoto-protocol does not work. It is costly, unjust, and it just does not get emissions right. According to the EU’s own estimate, carbon-dioxide emission is actually growing in the Union.
The current Kyoto system has a number of pitfalls besides that it is not working: it does not include such major emitters like the US and Russia. It has a perverted side-effect: it actually gives financial benefits for China which has taken over the US as the largest emitter on Earth.
It may be the case that carbon-dioxide is not that dangerous at all. But if it is than it should be alarming that the US presidential candidates have became willing to adopt the European system which actually lets emissions increase. I believe that even if it is not proven with utmost certainty that the level of changes we cause in the composition of atmospheric gases is posing a threat to humanity, it is too likely to remain inactive. I think Rhein is right that political leadership is needed, but I think it would cause great economic and environmental risk if the EU would be pushing its current system to the G8 countries or the United nations. Real leadership has the strength to change course. It is time to give up the Kyoto protocol and look for an enforceable alternative.
Carbon tax, anyone?Author : Dániel Antal