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Tweaking the EU’s carbon trading model

flagOne of the great successes – politically, at least – has been Europe’s creation of a functioning carbon trading scheme. Technically, it’s been dogged by controversy, with credits being handed out willy nilly and firms profiting from it for all the wrong reasons. However, the scheme exists and gets bigger every year, which must still be considered a great success.

And even though everything takes thousands of years (or so it feels) to get approved in the EU, it seems like at least some of the bureaucrats are pushing for promising future revisions to the scheme. A new mechanism, due to be published in December (but for adoption in 2013), will argue that credits shouldn’t be given out free, but rather auctioned off. The details are light so far, but putting a real value on credits will do much to boost the market for carbon.

Even more promisingly, the aim would be to use the money raised from the auctions to invest in alternative energies. Of course, leaving Brussels to choose which technology is going to be the best future bet is a tricky game at the best of times, but it seems more productive than the status quo. More details here:

Barbaso said that the EC was still fine-tuning details of the proposed changes, to be announced on December 5, but said that he personally preferred not to give any free permits to electricity producers.

“In my view the best solution will be full (auctioning). I’d prefer to go for a radical change,” he told Reuters. “It’s still subject to discussion with member states and experts.”

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