Friday, April 19, 2013

Europe Vote Sets Back Carbon Plan

          In Europe, companies need permits to create air pollution.  In thought, this would make companies pay for their pollution.  In recent years, Europe has been in a economic slump which has cause less new companies being formed who need these permits.  This has caused the price of permits to drop from 25 Euros in 2008 to 3 Euros this year.  This is the price that a company would pay per ton of green-house gas emissions per year.  Recently a vote was taken to drop the number of permits given to increase the price to force companies to use cleaner fuels.  The vote failed so the number of permits given out has not changed from the previous year.  This may be because the bad economy or other economical reasons.  With the prices where they are now, most companies feel no need to change to a cleaner fuel.  The price would have to be around 30 Euros per ton to seriously cause companies to change. 

                These permits were effective when the European economy was doing better, but now that it has slumped the price of the permits has dropped so much that companies do not really care.  Raising the price of the permits could force companies to go greener but if the people who vote will not vote in favor of the environment that there is nothing they can do.  Greenhouse gas emissions in Europe are already down 10% since 2009 which is a good.  If the vote would have passed it would have allowed the emissions to continue to drop and make all new companies getting permits to also be clean in their choice of fuel and emissions.  Maybe with improved economy the permits can rise in price to cut emissions.

Russell Remy

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