Re: US policy Was Re: [asa] Subglacial Water System Moving

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Fri Feb 23 2007 - 10:53:32 EST

Before I start a side comment. Janice's silence is deafening.

On 2/23/07, David Opderbeck <> wrote:
> *then the U.S.
> could simply say because sovereignty is our ultimate interest we will
> run our own carbon market with deeper cuts than we would have with in
> a linked market.*
> **
> I don't know if sovereignty is the overriding interest in the real
> political economy of this. Probably not -- more likely it's oil money. But
> sovereignty is my overriding concern about Kyoto, and I think it's the
> biggest concern on a serious policy level.
> There are at least a couple of reasons de-linking the US won't work. One
> is economic: since the US is one of the few major polluters, taking the US
> out will distort the global market such that there would be no functioning
> global market. Another is political: why would other reluctant players
> such as China agree to give up sovereignty if the US isn't willing to do
> so? It's a prisoner's dilemma.
> I haven't looked into this, but I wonder if there is a way to facilitate
> an emissions market through GATT. The sovereignty concern regarding Kyoto
> is particularly important, IMHO, because Kyoto is a United Nations
> Convention. The UN has done lots of good in the world and it (or something
> like it) is a necessary organization. (Too bad the US invaded Iraq rather
> than waiting for UN sanctions to work). But, there's no denying that the UN
> is not always friendly to free markets and democratic self-governance, and
> that too much power in the UN is vested in totalitarian nations ( e.g.,
> China). GATT, in contrast, IMHO, is a forum that has worked reasonably well
> because it is inherently pro-market and has a more limited mandate.

Note the world economy works just fine with multiple currencies and multiple
stock exchanges. It looks pretty certain that there will be multiple carbon
exchanges where you could then have exchange rates between them like we do
with currencies. If the UN refuses to do this, that market will get
created by the private sector -- I guarantee it. Here's evidence that this
is already happening (China entering the carbon market without U.S.
renouncing sovereignty.):

> Khalid Malik, head of the UN office in China, said on 6 February that the
> IEA's forecast was based on old figures and that UN was working with the
> Chinese government on an update assessment of its emissions.
> Malik was speaking on the sidelines of a conference launching a new
> trading scheme for carbon credits in Beijing. The scheme, a joint project
> between the UN Development Programme and the Chinese government, *will
> compete with others in Europe and the US.* It will seek to take a share of
> the multi-billion dollar global market which trades emissions credits
> granted by the Kyoto Protocol in exchange for investment in green projects
> in developing countries.

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Received on Fri Feb 23 10:55:09 2007

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