Links: foreign aid, global warming, greenhouse gasses

In Prospect magazine (UK), a debate between William Easterly and Hilary Benn, UK Secretary of State for International development, Is Foreign Aid Working?

Graphs illustrating global warming data in EcoWorld article.

The Economist writes about carbon emissions (subscription necessary),

AMERICA’S greenest governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, announced on October 16th that he was planning to set up an emissions-trading scheme between California and other states to try to curb the output of greenhouse gases. Given the complexity of designing and operating such schemes, it is fortunate for Mr Schwarzenegger that Europe already has one up and running; for it offers valuable lessons in what not to do. …

Europe’s Emissions-Trading Scheme (ETS) was one of the few substantial developments to emerge from the wreckage of the Kyoto Protocol. Its purpose was threefold: to cut emissions; the get polluters to pay for the damage they cause; and to get industry to invest in cleaner technology…

Unfortunately, the ETS has failed in all its three aims…

Emissions are flat…

Nor are polluters paying – rather the reverse. In order to get industry to swallow this scheme, allowances were handed out free to companies, rather than being (as economists wanted) auctioned… Britain’s power-generators alone made a profit of around £800m ($1.5 billion) from the scheme in its first year.

Lastly, the ETS is not leading companies to invest in greener technology. In power, for instance, there has been a boom in coal-fired generation – the dirtiest sort.

…the scheme needs to be redesigned.

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