Once you have the carbon credit you need to sell it, which means there must be a market — a role filled in part by the Chicago Carbon Exchange (CCX). The CCX, which was started with seed money from both government and private non-profit sources, is most emphatically a for-profit firm that functions like any commodity exchange. If you have a story about the carbon you aren’t emitting and need it certified, the CCX can certify it — for a fee. Then the CCX will help you sell it — for a commission. If you need to buy carbon credits, the CCX will match you up with a buyer — for a fee — and sell you the certificate (and charge you a commission).
All of this is reasonable in theory, because after all what you’re doing is letting the market set a price for the carbon reductions, just as it sets a price for the fuels burned that lead to carbon emissions. In practice, it’s at least utterly opaque — the CCX is a U.S. corporation, but it is wholly owned in England, and draws its ability to act to certify CO2 reductions through a UN-chartered NGO out of Geneva. The principals are people who have banking experience with Goldman Sachs and strong political connections with the Democratic Party, through Chicago and through Al Gore.
It is, of course, purely a coincidence that this market, which simply doesn’t exist without the legal requirement that companies reduce carbon emissions, is closely connected with the politically connected people who are pushing for carbon restrictions by law and treaty.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Climategate: The Big Picture
There's too much money to be made from Global Warming alarmism to let truth get in the way.