Tomorrow is the first Anniversary of the UN Kyoto Protocol taking effect.
A year on the Protocol is fundamentally weakened by the Bush Administration’s refusal to sign up to it. However some parts of the agreement are booming – especially carbon trading.
Carbon dioxide is now one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, worth as much as 34 billion euros (40.2 billion dollars) annually by the end of this decade, according to some analysts.
“The carbon market is going very well. We’ve seen tremendous growth this year,” argues Henrik Hasselknippe, senior analyst at Point Carbon, a firm that monitors the CO2 pollution business. Much of this growth is in the EU, although people say it is only a matter of time before America signs up to a carbon trading scheme.
Several states in the northeastern US and in the Midwest have taken early political moves to form regional carbon markets, and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is looking into launching an emissions registry. At a federal level, the Senate has passed a non-binding resolution calling for mandatory incentives.
So with the political winds of change blowing in Washington with fears over energy security and Bush’s admission of oil addiction, is there any chance that Bush will astonish everyone and sign up to the Protocol? Well he is said to be struggling to find a legacy that does not include the words Iraq or war…