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A rough guide to carbon trading

Are carbon trading schemes the best way to tackle climate change? Trading is central to meeting Kyoto targets. But the EU scheme, the world's biggest, has had a bumpy start and questions remain about the long-term viability of trading

By Matthew Lockwood   February 2007

For a policy that is supposed to save the planet, there is surprisingly little public debate about carbon trading. The principle of buying and selling permits to emit greenhouse gases now dominates international thinking on climate change. The government’s recent energy review confirmed that carbon trading “will remain the central element of the UK’s emissions reductions policy framework,” a view strongly endorsed by the Stern review. The idea of nations trading emissions also lies at the heart of the Kyoto protocol. Carbon markets in some form exist across Europe, Japan and even in parts of the US and Australia. And…

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