Despite the mounting evidence that alarmists are cooking the books to overhype the potential dangers of global warming, the latest Bloomberg Businessweek offers us one good reason alarmism is likely to stick with us for a while: A lot of people still hope to make big money from the hysteria.
In Europe, demand for emissions permits has been crimped by the economic slowdown, which has forced industry to idle plants. The value of carbon trading fell 8 percent, to €23.7 billion ($32 billion), in the third quarter from the previous three months as the price of permits tumbled, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data.
A carbon offset program operated by the UN is in jeopardy as a result of the expiration next year of greenhouse gas caps set by the Kyoto Protocol. Under the UN program, companies and nations can earn credits to offset fossil-fuel emissions by sponsoring renewable-energy projects. A follow-up treaty to Kyoto won’t come into force until 2020 at the earliest. Japan, Russia, and Canada have refused to accept new limits in the meantime.
The carbon trading industry’s dimming outlook can be seen in the thinning membership rolls of the International Emissions Trading Assn. About 10 institutions have quit the Geneva-based trade group this year, cutting membership to around 150 companies.