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Carbon Trading : A Viable Solution?

Earlier this month Australia unveiled plans to introduce a comprehensive carbon cap-and-trade scheme in 2010 that would cover 75% of its emissions. The plan has however been met with a degree of ambivalence.

Environmentalists such as Greenpeace expect that it "would result in nothing more than paper shuffling" and Brendan Nelson – the leader of the opposition is of the opinion that unless other polluters of the world take serious measures to curb their emissions, carbon trading will have grave consequences for the Australian economy. On the other hand, a recently conducted poll of 1200 people indicates a strong inclination in favor of carbon trading – eight out of ten people voted for carbon trading.

Japan, the world’s fifth largest polluter has also announced that it will begin carbon trading on a trial basis this October – "the first concrete step" towards slashing its carbon emissions, according to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. However, the plan is unlikely to get an across-the-board welcome, what with the country’s emitters viewing the scheme as an impediment to growth.

Despite its critics carbon trading seems to be gaining momentum, with more and more countries resorting to it. What are your views? Do you think carbon trading is a viable solution or should countries concentrate their resources on other means to combat global warming?

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