Monday, January 21, 2008

Carbon regulation vs millions of jobs

While many places on Earth recently witnessed the coldest days in many decades, many not quite reasonable people continue in their crusade to regulate the world's carbon cycle in order to "fight climate change".

While the U.S. department of energy argues that the U.S. won't follow Australia and regardless of the winner of the 2008 elections, it won't join Kyoto, several more "progressive" regions of the world prefer a less reasonable approach.

A powerful German energy lobby group has calculated that certain new rules proposed by the EU could increase the costs of the carbon trading scheme 18-fold and make things more expensive for Germany by EUR 17 billion. They see the European industry in danger, following their calculation assuming a EUR 30 price per ton.

Meanwhile, the current EU ETS price of carbon emissions is between 1 and 2 eurocents per ton. ;-)

Food fights between the EU members are beginning and Germany expects that one million of jobs may be lost as a result of the new scheme. Steelmakers and representatives of other industries argue that if this lunacy is going to continue, they will simply leave Europe.

Moreover, Japan is wise enough to propose 2000 as the new reference year, instead of 1990, to determine future emissions according to a successor of the Kyoto treaty. This fact also makes the situation more difficult for Europe.

One of the main reasons why Europe has been so supportive of these schemes is that they were pegged to 1990 and Europe's CO2 production actually dropped during the 1990-2000 decade. The reasons had nothing to do with global warming - see e.g. Communism, capitalism, and environment - and Europe could simply benefit from being already below the 1990 numbers.

I personally think that if a regulation scheme would have to be adopted - which I don't believe to be the case - it would be more fair if a later year were chosen as the reference year. With 1990 as the reference year, many regions of the world are being punished for their growth in the 1990s while Europe is irrationally rewarded.

One sixth of Britons, close to a 10-year record, suffer from fuel poverty (more than 10% of income spent for utility bills). Green energy policy is one of the underlying reasons of this bad trend.

Thanks to Benny Peiser.

1 comment:

1. Tough decision I may say. It is in human nature to decide in its favour, even if its a short term decision, than looking forward to the future and see the benefits of changing the way we develop. Perhaps the first step would be carbon regulation but this is again, a short term decision. The main task should be to develop new, "green" technologies that will not affect climate. For that, we have to understand climate and the way it affects the Earth. I found an interesting definition on www.whatisclimate.com.