Recently I asked friends what they knew about carbon credit systems. They knew almost nothing, save that it was designed to combat carbon emissions into the atmosphere, intrinsic to the battle against undesirable climate change. We are talking about tertiary educated people in early middle age in a first world country. Their knowledge reflected my own: almost zilch.
So I made an appointment with Dr Google and started reading. AaargH!! It soon became too much for my little brain: convoluted, confusing and, at least to me, a system wide open to manipulation and fraud.
It appears that governments have devised a system to assess the carbon footprint of countries, businesses, industries, services et al, engine exhaust, cow farts, factory smoke etc. They are required to maintain this below set levels, which in many cases is difficult or too expensive. I mean, how do you stop a cow fart?
So, in order to avoid these activities being driven out of business, the government established a cap and trade level of carbon credits.
Companies that pollute are awarded credits that allow them to continue to pollute up to a certain limit. That limit is reduced over time. Meanwhile, the company may sell any unneeded credits to another company that needs them.
This has become nationalised and countries and businesses with excess credits can sell them to those that pollute excessively.
Extra credits can be earned by minimising pollution or growing trees (they convert CO2 to oxygen). The market for compliance credits is estimated to rangeas high as $272 billion for the year 2020.
You can imagine how many bureaucrats would be needed to administer and monitor these matters …. and how creative accountants would be able to milk the system…
How easy would it be to claim an extra few thousand trees in a forest ?
Seems the limits set by the Kyoto Protocol were too hard for the US (the biggest polluter) and China (the second biggest), so they declined to play..
I wonder how many of you read this far?
This is an extreme simplification of the system.
My questions are : Who is going to administer the sytem in the future if only a few understand it?
How are our children and their children supposed to see through the smog of these bureaucratic jungles?
Who will save the world in the future?
I guess it is up to you and me to spread the word.
So do your bit: learn about the sytems so you can call out pollies when they try to confound you with greenwash!