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The Price of Carbon

The Price of Carbon

by Jo Abbess
20 April 2010

1.   Introduction

Policy strategy for controlling risky excess atmospheric greenhouse gas (Gowdy, 2008, Sect. 4; McKibben, 2007, Ch. 1, pp. 19-20; Solomon et al., 2009; Tickell, 2008, Ch. 6, pp. 205-208) mostly derives from the notion that carbon dioxide emissions should be charged for, in order to prevent future emissions; similar to treatment for environmental pollutants (Giddens, 2009, Ch. 6, pp. 149-155; Gore, 2009, Ch. 15 “The True Cost of Carbon”; Pigou, 1932; Tickell, 2008, Ch.4, Box 4.1, pp. 112-116). Underscoring this idea is the evidence that fines, taxes and fees modify behaviour, reigning in the marginal social cost of “externalities” through financial disincentive (Baumol, 1972; Sandmo, 2009; Tol, 2008). However this approach may not enable the high-value, long-term investment required for decarbonisation, which needs adjustments to the economy at scale (CAT, 2010; Hepburn and Stern, 2008, pp. 39-40, Sect. (ii) “The Consequences of Non-marginality”; MacKay, 2008, Ch. 19; Tickell, 2008, Ch. 2, pp. 40-41). Economists propose that protection of the commons of the skies should be achieved by creating monetary value out of atmospheric property rights (Tickell, 2008, Ch. 3). The basic choice is between privatising the air, allowing economically efficient competition between wealthy credit buyers; or making emissions a human right to be shared, via permits, distributed and sanctioned by central authorities; although recent designs are effectively hybrid (Dessler and Parson, 2010, pp. 184-185; Hepburn, 2009b; Laing and Grubb, 2010; Marshall, 2008, Ch. 2 pp. 35-39; Stavins, 2008, p. 217, Sect. (ii) “Carbon Taxes”; Stern, 2009, pp. 100-111). Rather than being dispersed back into the economy as compensation for climate damages and carbon rents (Cap and Share, n.d., Cap and Dividend n.d., Hallegatte et al, 2010), the resulting corporate profits or tax revenue should be “hypothecated”, recycled into carbon dioxide emissions reductions; through energy efficiency, demand control, fuel switching and infrastructure asset transition, taking energy and transport into their low carbon future (Tickell, 2008, p. 16 “Box 0.2 In a nutshell”). It seems like a tried-and-tested approach to a “sticky” ecological problem (Beamish, 2002, Ch. 2, pp. 42-45; Walsh, 2009; Whiteside, 2006, Ch. 2 “Debating Precaution”, pp. 32-33), yet so far it does not appear to be reaching its goals (Williams, 2010). It is clear we need to respect the climate sensitivity indicated by the best scientific research, by adopting some form of quota arrangement, but will pricing emissions enforce this ?

2.   An all-too-normal waste gas

Trading under a cap of permitted allowances has been useful in addressing both the problems of acid rain and the ozone layer hole (Meadows et al, 2005, Ch. 5), by creating markets in real emissions reductions. It could be argued that a system of regulation, taxation and targeted purchase would have seen greater financial efficiency in implementing the Sulphur Emissions Reduction and Montreal Protocols; but both the sulphur dioxide and the CFC emissions problems have been clearly tractable with commoditised operations (UNEP, 2007). These problems were confined to niche markets of “point source emitters”, and coupled with the easy substitution of the problem chemistry, that was clearly helpful in generating good outcomes (Ahmed, 1995). By contrast, carbon dioxide is very widespread throughout the economy, with many point sources (Tickell, 2008, Ch. 4, pp. 90-91), and substitution is costly, as it entails sweeping changes in infrastructure and machinery plant in all sectors, including manufacturing, transport, buildings and energy (Monbiot, 2007). Solving this transformation equation obviously requires financial flows, and since many emissions come from corporations, private capital, in addition to public revenue, needs to be stimulated to launch new investment (Durning, 2009; nef, 2009). The polluter should pay, or at least feel the threat of a pinch (Reuters, 2009a). Plus, there needs to be a unified global position taken, so that social and industrial inertia against carbon reductions do not compromise progress (Marshall, 2008, pp. 81-82).

3.   The trading floor opens

Carbon is endemic, and trading promises good returns (Macalister, 2009). The inter-regional and transnational trading of unused carbon quota permits and project-created credits has commenced, with the long view being to link all these markets together (Hepburn. 2009b, p. 384; Stern, 2009, p. 111). Using a market construct, there is no reason to assume that a negatively valued, virtual commodity should have a high price (Tol, 2005 cited in Barker, 2008a, p. 6; Tol, 2007 cited in Barker, 2008a, p. 7). Furthermore, the unknown price curve leads to uncertainty about programmes to remove carbon from processes and machinery by new investment. Too low a price and only the “low-hanging fruit” will be plucked, and the higher fruit will become unreachable. Yet targets based on the science indicate the total decarbonisation of the economy will be required in a clear timeframe. Can a market in carbon, on its own, be sure to drive this ? As evidence to the contrary, the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) has a market to drive a defined ratchet downwards for the overall carbon cap, but it also has a variety of innovative schemes, subsidies and measures in place all over the economic region. The drive for the decarbonisation of the supply of energy appears to be coming from European Union Directives and regional targets, rather than the emissions trading market.

In addition, there are a number of flaws with the trading element of the European approach. The “grandfathering” of the assumed right to emit, based on historical behaviour of high carbon emitters, is a massive market distortion in the EU ETS; as is the initial zero charge for these granted rights, a “windfall”, as prices have risen in anticipation of future permit costs (Feasta, 2007; Tickell, 2008, Ch. 2, p. 49). Carbon-intensive sectors are continuing to lobby for this “dispensation” (Brady, 2009), even after carbon allowance permits become auctioned in 2013. Furthermore, the National Allocation Plans were too high, and the cap has been set too loosely; an effect only aggravated by the global economic recession (Sandbag, 2010). As a result, the price of carbon has remained predictably poor (Houghton, 2009, Ch. 10 “A strategy for action to slow and stabilise climate change”, p. 299 “Carbon trading”).

4.   The slow growth in the creation of new carbon credits

Despite the media attention paid to carousel fraud, cloning and illegal recycling of carbon credits (Commodities Now, 2010; Europol, 2009; Morison, 2010; Reuters, 2010), the biggest issue remains the risk that carbon markets will not materialise in volume (Rahman et al., 2010). Critics of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), and the emissions trading elements of the UK’s Climate Change Committee carbon budgets, berate the large proportion of the emissions reductions set to come from “project offsets”, created from “hot air” in Eurasia (den Elzen et al., 2009), the Kyoto Protocol’s “flexible mechanism” of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) worldwide, and Joint Implementation (JI) credits from inside the European Union (Bullock et al., 2009, p. 18, Sect. 4.4; Reyes, 2009). The European Union offered to increase carbon dioxide emissions reductions under any Copenhagen Treaty from 20% by 2020 to 30%. The implication is that the “Effort Sharing Decision” difference would be made up from market offsets that would have become available from the reformed CDM “sectoral” carbon markets enshrined in the treaty (Gilbertson and Reyes, 2009, Ch. 3, pp. 45-46, Ch. 5, p. 91; Hepburn, 2009a, pp. 420-426; Hepburn and Stern, 2008, pp. 51-53).

The CDM provided about 0.4 gigatonnes carbon dioxide equivalent of Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) in 2008 (Hepburn, 2009a; World Bank, 2009), and there is still a pipeline of projects waiting to be accredited. Research on the growth in unchecked emissions (Garnaut et al., 2008) shows that roughly 13 gigatonnes of offsets/reductions from Business As Usual (BAU) will be required by 2012 to meet the timeline of international targets (see Appendix); and CDM remains the central policy to contribute somewhere between 5 and 10 gigatonnes of that, each year by 2020 (Hepburn, 2009a). However, as of March 2010, the UNEP Risoe Capacity Development for CDM projections are that only just over 1 gigatonne of CERs will be available by the end of 2012 (UNEP Risoe, 2010), although the World Bank projects 1.5 gigatonnes (World Bank, 2010, Ch. 6, Table 6.3).

5.   Addressing existing carbon emissions liabilities

Embedded in the supply chain of virtually all the products consumed in the industrialised world, carbon dioxide is perhaps too pervasive to be susceptible to a market or a tax. Overall, production has not been de-coupled from carbon intensity in the global economy; which is continuing to grow, as are emissions (Jackson, 2009, Ch. 5, “The Myth of Decoupling”, pp. 68-76). In fact, carbon dioxide emissions are a direct result of most wealth-creation activities (CAIT, 2000), so it could be said that carbon dioxide emissions underpin the value of money. If so, how can money be used to control carbon dioxide, without de-valuing itself, thereby losing its power to control ? The carriage cannot pull the locomotive.

Eventually we may come to accept that monetising carbon will not, by itself, disincentivise breaching the “integrity of the atmosphere” (Wagner, 2009, pp. 392-394). Attempting to create a financial incentive to decarbonise has so far resulted in moves to outsource obligation from those carbon-intensive to those carbon-light or carbon-nascent. This globalisation of emissions reductions obscures the need for major change in industrialised infrastructure, essential to meet the long-term goals for global emissions control. Without massive upheaval, some industrial sectors will remain carbon-intensive, despite improved waste management and “skimming” intensity reductions (Barrett, 2009, pp. 73-75; Jackson, 2009, Ch. 5, pp. 75-82; Tickell, 2008, Ch. 5 “Non-market solutions” pp. 157-167). Until low carbon technology is more widespread, more growth means more energy use, as a rule, and more energy use means more carbon emissions. Industrialised-world carbon emissions are locked-in, and economic growth remains in lock-step with emissions (Fischer and Preonas, 2010; Jackson, 2009, Ch. 5; Meyer, 2004, p. 5, Sect. 4), as evidenced by the UK’s minor drop in emissions during the ongoing recession (Adam, 2010). The current carbon market is intended to simulate a downward trend in industrialised-world consumption, “offsetting” by stimulating decarbonisation in developing countries. If this is not sufficient, or sufficiently fast-acting (Meadows et al., 2005, Ch. 6, pp. 222-234), to implement staged carbon caps, it may be necessary to ration energy in the industrialised world (Challen, 2009, pp. 186-187; EAC, 2008; Fleming, 2007; Giddens, 2009, pp. 155-158; Hillman, 2004, pp. 126-145). Energy rationing would mostly affect such sectors as power production, transport, petrochemicals, metals and construction. Any cap on industrialised-world consumption and production would entail an economic contraction, that would affect rates of consumption and production in the developing world as a side effect, creating economic degrowth there too, likely obviating the need for the current carbon market.

6.   Carbon property rights & responsibilities

In some respects, a carbon cap and a market at the downstream, consumption end of the economy is not addressing the real underlying problem – the reliance on fossil fuels at the upstream, production end of the energy supply chain. It is unrealistic to think that the ordinary European or American householder will be able to reduce their personal carbon consumption by 50% to 85% if the energy resources they are provided with are still all fossil fuel-based (IPCC, 2007b; Mandelson, 2009, p. 90). In the mid- to long-term almost total decarbonisation of the energy supply must be effected (Jackson, 2009, Ch. 5, pp. 82-86). The recent admission amongst mainstream economists that this problem is substantial suggests that marginal charging will not make structural change happen (Barker, 2008a, p. 10). It is difficult to see how economists can continue to propose equilibrium mechanics, under a marginal corrective perturbation in financing (Wickens, 2008, Ch. 2), to a system that will have to undergo significant transition.

7.   Marketising enhanced deliberative expenditure

The evidence is that up until now, despite the bailout of the financial systems, capital has not been liberally freed to create the new low carbon energy infrastructure, fuel production and generation plant; investment that should have happened in response to the carbon price signal. Most policy treatments now propose significant public money to fill yawning investment and research gaps (Crooks E., 2010; Dessler and Parson, 2010, p. 185; Healing, 2010; Hudson, 2010; Maher, 2010; Tankersley and Muskal, 2010). Some argue that certain sectors of the economy were always going to need public money and private capital to boost them over the research, development and investment hurdles, and that the carbon market was never intended to cover everything (IEA, 2008). There are others who argue that everything should be incorporated into the carbon market, especially expensive novelties such as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and new Nuclear Power (Marshall, 2008, p. 119) – for this reason it is proposed to add CCS to the CDM (Hepburn and Stern, 2008, p. 53). This could share the cost burden, but reveals that some emissions control takes significantly more money than others, because it involves high levels of new investment, some as “sunk costs”. This leads to the question of whether there is a workable carbon price that can emerge; as “…a result of discontinuities and path dependence… there is no longer a unique solution for the equilibrium carbon tax” (Barker, 2008a). With CCS and new Nuclear in CDM, less costly decarbonisation efforts would be done at a higher market price, which would be financially inefficient. End consumers facing carbon charging under a full global carbon market that includes rich world carbon credit-makers will experience this across the spectrum of domestic spending – energy, fuel, retail, food and water. Carbon charges could thus be a general economic depressant, or even cause general inflation (Barker, 2008b), thus negating the relative disincentive of the initial charge. After a period of adjustment, energy and fuel consumption could no longer be elastic to carbon charging, and the overall cap on emissions will become impossible to push downwards. Charging would not enforce the deeper stages of a carbon cap. And without enforcing the deeper caps, the carbon price would become ineffectually low.

8.   The one true price

If the market cannot reveal a useful or stable carbon price, that could mean a shifting aggregate price over different parts of the investment lifecycle, or even over the cycle of carbon permit auctions, leading to great uncertainty about the future costs in large parts of the economy (Dessler and Parson, 2010, pp. 169-170). CDM sectoral benchmarking and CER discounting could smooth price discrimination (Hepburn, 2009a), but the global carbon price is likely to remain inherently volatile, and risk long-term financing decisions. Indeed it is possible that carbon prices might never rise high enough to effect significant “behaviour change” (Gowdy, 2008). Research has shown a Marginal Abatement Cost curve indicating that a good proportion of carbon neutralisation can take place at low cost, or even be cost-negative (McKinsey, 2009). If economy-wide decisions were taken by nations, such as mass building retrofits for insulation, this would undercut the market carbon price. It can be argued that this is a good thing, making unavoidable carbon emissions reasonably charged. However, this could undermine the ability of firms to justify de-carbonising “heavy” industry, particularly power generation. Yet, since it is cheap to insulate homes and optimise the use of heating, lighting and transportation on such a wide scale, these are the options that are likely to be chosen by economy-stricken administrations (Bowen and Stern, 2010; DECC, 2010; State of Texas, n.d.).

9.   Carbon markets, born free, are everywhere in (supply) chains

Economists argue that the true price of carbon should be revealed by the market; that a market framework, in a context of free trade, will have the best possible information (Grossman and Stiglitz, 1980), and the competitive effect will deliver the optimal, aggregate price, especially in a regime of scarcity. Yet, existing markets in carbon, particularly in fossil fuel energy, are not generally open to new entrants, are highly regulated, and the dependency on carbon energy by all other parts of the economy creates barriers to competition. Electricity, for example, within most industrialised countries operates as a virtual monopoly (Patterson, 2007, Ch. 6, p. 74), or at best, a wealth-creation cartel, enjoying the unenviable position of being an obvious target for government “rent-seeking behaviour”. And since energy has been comparatively cheap in developed countries, the will to adopt conservation measures has been lax. The question has been asked many times, energy efficiency and conservation are such an cheap win, why haven’t they already been done ? (DeLong, 2009; Gayer, 2009; Roberts, 2009; Roberts, 2010) One of the answers is asset “lock-in”, whereby plant and other infrastructure with long lifecycles cannot easily become low carbon. Another of the answers is that carbon energy is effectively highly subsidised (Biello, 2009; Tickell, 2008, pp. 162-163). This means we are currently not paying the correct price for the carbon embedded in that energy; and thus, even when superimposing an environmental price for carbon via a market, or extracting an extra levy, we will still not pay to internalise the full cost of carbon dioxide damage to the environment. Besides which, the decarbonisation signal may well get lost entirely, swamped by wild variations in the commodities and energy supply markets (Helm, 2009, p. 15; Jackson, 2009, Ch. 1, pp. 8-11).

10.   Counting the right numbers

So we may not be able to establish an optimal price for carbon within a market, and even if we do, it might not be the most effective one for cutting emissions. However, even though we cannot grasp the right number for the price of carbon, we can approach an understanding of the correct amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (Anderson and Bows, 2008). An extensive range of studies reviewed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), show that the environmental protection goal of mankind should be the stabilisation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, effectively within a human lifetime (Arrow, 2007; Bala et al. 2005; IPCC 2007c; Lenton et al, 2006). Evidence of possible early signs of dangerous climate change (Hogarth, 2010; NSIDC, 2010; Stone et al., 2010; Velicogna, 2009) strongly support a global carbon dioxide emissions budget over a period of several decades, a timeframe way beyond normal economic analysis (Allen et al., 2009; Meinshausen et al., 2009). This translates into a worldwide annual budget, which further breaks down into annual national allowances (WBGU, 2009).

11.   Where Kyoto mis-stepped

The focus should therefore be on carbon and not on cost. A money market solution to carbon obviously runs the risk of allowing the rich emitters to pay to carry on emitting, and within the global carbon budget this could translate into refusing energy access and economic development to the poor (Gilbertson and Reyes, 2009, Ch. 1). This is, in essence, the root of the problems at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conferences, attempting to negotiate a global treaty. The ultimate deal will need to be made on the basis of equal per capita carbon rights for each country, as nothing skewed in favour of the rich will satisfy the poor (Kraus, 2009). Under such a deal, the wealthy industrialised nations must pay to decarbonise, but it is now clear that the efforts to do it “on the cheap” (Reuters, 2009b) through the CDM-facilitated globalisation of carbon emissions reduction, are not going to provide a complete solution (Lohmann, 2008).

12.   The way forward out of Kyoto

A global carbon budget, implemented in a set time would be a “contraction event”, and equal per capita rights to carbon entitlements within that cap would require a rate of convergence, since it cannot be effected overnight or the economy would implode (Hillman, 2007, pp. 262-264). The Global Commons Institute proposes that the UNFCCC accept that it move from ideas of establishing “carbon shares proportional to income” over to “carbon shares proportional to per capita”, which is known to be acceptable to all nations and blocs. This is the Contraction and Convergence (C&C) framework (Meyer A. 2007). In order to establish the C&C framework for carbon dioxide emissions, at least two Kyoto Protocol kernels would need to be cracked.

The “common but differentiated responsibilities” of the Kyoto Protocol (UNFCCC, 1998) would need to be reviewed on the basis that some industrialising countries look a lot like industrialised countries already (Botzen et al. 2008). Releasing all nations from the definition of development assigned at Kyoto would allow the recipes for emissions intensity and efficiency under the national mitigation action (NAMA) of the Bali roadmap, to become firm commitments to control (NAMC) as the Convergence per capita levels of growing countries were reached (UNFCCC, 2008). This sliding scale would put all countries in the same lifeboat (Barrett, 2008, p. 68, Sect. V).

The other key component would be to admit that those who consume carbon-laced products are as responsible for the emissions as those that initially embedded the carbon by their production processes (Helm et al., 2007; Steckel et al., 2010; Tickell, 2008, Ch 4. pp. 88-89). Thus, for example, the United States should feel obliged to account for a proportion of the emissions from the full lifecycle of products it imports from China; and conversely China should feel the regulation pull to reduce carbon intensity in production for export to the United States (Helm et al., 2007, p. 4). Numerical facts crystallise this view. For example, direct emissions from the United Kingdom figure at around about 2% of the global total, yet the FTSE 100 British-based businesses alone are responsible for about 12% to 15% of emissions worldwide (Christian Aid, 2007; Trucost, 2005). It would be unaffordable for the industrialised world to accept the financial responsibility for the total of their cumulative historical “sins of emission” (De Backer, 2008) as the profit of the past has all been spent. However, financial flows from wealthy to not-wealthy nations, necessary to enable low carbon transition for the developing countries, could be justified on the basis of “mutually assured protection” (Schellnhuber, 2009), in recognition of the consumer’s role as polluter. Future consumption will need to be low carbon, and so wealthy consumers should pay for not-wealthy producers to transition (Hepburn and Stern, 2008, p. 48), rather than aiming to protect their “silos” of remaining wealth. However, the high-cost transition in the wealthy nations should not be neglected simply because there are some short-term financial gains to be had from emissions trading and financing lower-cost transition in the not-wealthy nations. Putting off the day when industrialised-world emissions reductions need to be effected does not mean it can be forever avoided.

13.   Compliance through systemic alterations

Issues of enforcement in the capped carbon market will remain problematic. Compliance with advanced caps could be addressed by re-routing the processes that enable carbon emissions to take place. Clearly one part of the picture is the liberal financial and legislation arrangements (Barker, 2009). The partly re-nationalised banks could reign in these “engines of carbon chaos”, changing the goalposts and conditions for economic investment, to bail out the difficulties of enforcing the later stage deep carbon caps (Silver, 2009). As the lifecycle of carbon-intensive physical “sub-prime” assets (ENS, 2008) comes around to the investment stage, bank lending rules could dictate such things as fuel-switching in electricity generation (IPCC, 2007d), the banning of coal for new power generation (Hansen, 2009) and the revocation of tar sands exploitation (FairPensions, 2010; Smith, 2008).

As for voluntary compliance, there are signs that scope for the dematerialisation of the economy may have reached its limit (Boden et al, 2009; Helm et al., 2007, p. 12; Jackson, 2009, Ch. 8, pp. 128-133). Given that we have somewhat less than ten years to effect a global peak in emissions (Anderson, 2009), we would best turn to structural mechanisms (Czisch, 2010; McKinsey et al., 2010; PwC, 2010) to change the energy supply and consumption patterns (Pacala, 2007 cited in Saxifrage, 2009), rather than wait for a carbon market to mature and widen (Wickens, 2008, Ch. 9).

14.   Conclusion

Piecemeal constructs, such as a universal carbon market, or sectoral taxation, cannot add up to the sum of emissions reductions necessary, unless they are operated within an overall framework (Meyer, 2000, Ch. 6 “Framework versus Guesswork”). It is essential to calculate what contribution each initiative and policy must achieve, and apply resources there to make it happen (Copenhagen Accord Commitments, 2010). In parallel, it is necessary to plug “carbon leakage” (Barrett, 2008, pp. 64-66, Sect III) and rebound effects (Alcott, 2005; Sorrell, 2007; Sorrell, 2009). Under the framework of C&C, it would be possible to trade carbon in a market, but carbon property rights would only be created for that tranche of emissions tradable between parties below their Convergence per capita quota, and those above it (Meyer, 2004, p. 5, Sect. 5; Wagner et al., 2009, pp. 387 & 390-391). For the rest of the emissions reductions, a global post-Kyoto treaty based on agreed rates of Convergence and an agreed timeline for Contraction, negotiated between all parties, signalling commitment, could offer the legislative power, insurance and industrial confidence needed to leverage public and private funds to effect wholesale substitution of energy resources, as direct, targeted investment (Giddens, 2008; Jackson, 2009, Ch. 11, pp. 177-178). Trading emissions rights does not appear to be capable of delivering the full low carbon transition. The carbon market is displacement activity. We should be paying for what we want to happen, not for what we don’t.


GtCO2e = Gigatonnes Carbon Dioxide equivalent
Column 1 : Year
Column 2 : Emissions Business as Usual (BAU) (GtCO2e)
Column 3 : Target Emissions (GtCO2e)
Column 4 : Reductions in Emissions (GtCO2e)
Column 5 : References

2000   44.70   45.00   -0.30   (IPCC, 2007a)
2001   45.74   44.95   0.79   
2002   46.80   44.90   1.90   
2003   47.89   44.85   3.04   
2004   49.00   44.80   4.20   (IPCC, 2007a)
2005   50.01   44.75   5.26   
2006   51.03   44.70   6.33   
2007   52.08   44.65   7.43   
2008   53.14   44.60   8.54   
2009   54.23   44.55   9.68   
2010   55.34   44.50   10.84   
2011   56.47   44.45   12.02   
2012   57.63   44.40   13.23   
2013   58.81   44.35   14.46   
2014   60.01   44.30   15.71   
2015   61.24   44.25   16.99   
2016   62.50   44.20   18.30   
2017   63.78   44.15   19.63   
2018   65.08   44.10   20.98   
2019   66.42   44.05   22.37   
2020   67.78   44.00   23.78   (Lazarowicz, 2009)
2021   69.16   43.20   25.96   
2022   70.58   42.40   28.18   
2023   72.02   41.60   30.42   
2024   73.50   40.80   32.70   
2025   75.00   40.00   35.00   
2026   76.54   39.20   37.34   
2027   78.11   38.40   39.71   
2028   79.71   37.60   42.11   
2029   81.34   36.80   44.54   
2030   83.00   36.00   47.00   (Garnaut et al., 2008)
2031   84.70   35.20   49.50
2032   86.44   34.40   52.04
2033   88.21   33.60   54.61
2034   90.01   32.80   57.21
2035   91.86   32.00   59.86
2036   93.74   31.20   62.54
2037   95.66   30.40   65.26
2038   97.61   29.60   68.01
2039   99.61   28.80   70.81
2040   101.65   28.00   73.65
2041   103.73   27.20   76.53
2042   105.86   26.40   79.46
2043   108.03   25.60   82.43
2044   110.24   24.80   85.44
2045   112.49   24.00   88.49
2046   114.80   23.20   91.60
2047   117.15   22.40   94.75   
2048   119.55   21.60   97.95   
2049   121.99   20.80   101.19   
2050   124.49   20.00   104.49   (Lazarowicz, 2009)


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3 replies on “The Price of Carbon”

So how to make the elite rich, even richer?

Hope you are well, when the emperor is finally shown to have no clothes, yourself and people I know are going to be hurt (my life long green activists – sister in law included)when the realise they have supported the AGW delusion at the expense of real issues… How many millions more in food poverty now thanks to the ‘carbon’ delusion..

Good news again.. ice is back to ‘normal’ as it always was anyway, decadal fluctuations mean nothing either way.. except that the alarmists computer models said this was not possible…

When reality is shown, throw away a dodgy theory..

sea ice extent:

the rich become richer:

Best Regards


Actually I’m not sure what this post is all about?
It does seem very critical of the carbon market, as I am, ie lot’s of rich people get richer, lots of taxes get paid to governments, and all the corporations make even more money, the co2 taxes just get passed onto consumers (with a little bit extra sneaked in to boost profits)
If we can agree to disagree about CO2, how would you suggest persuading people, that the proposed solutions by governments are even more harmful..
My carbon foot print is probably tiny (as is most activists) yet we will end up paying more, why the elites, keep flying their private jets.. and buying tax deductible offsets, some from their own companies (Gore)

How to stop the politcal consensus, A couple of cold winters might help, but nature is fickle.

I’m not worried for my childrens future (due to man made co2) – lots of other stuff to worry about though.. Hope you come around to see that man made co2, is not a problem for your peace of mind..

‘Yelling Truth to Climate Chaos’ shows me that this website is sincere, unlike many of those who have jumped on the bandwagon..


Barry – you are quite right to be worried about ‘carbon-trading’ but you are not right to be worried. about Jo.

You are right, she is sincere – but that’s not the point. She is skilful and that is.

She has written an ‘academic essay’ where thoroughly reading and referencing the relevant literature is part of the convention.

If you accept that and then look at her quite forensic analysis of it, you will see that she shares your concerns and – even better – has given you a way of answering the people who don’t.



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