Saturday, February 28, 2009

Polluters Pay - Cap and Trade

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama is banking on a landmark carbon gas cap-and-trade system to both fight climate change and pump 80 billion dollars into the Treasury purse to fund renewable energy programs. The innovative program -- similar to one already in place in Europe -- would rev up US efforts against global warming by reducing the output of carbon dioxide and other polluting gases, while raising direly-needed revenue. The administration's proposed program was part of a 3.55-trillion-dollar budget unveiled by the president Thursday, which outlines a cap-and-trade system which would limit emissions of greenhouse gases by manufacturers, and permit companies to trade the right to pollute to other manufacturers.

The program forces heavy polluters to buy credits from companies that pollute less, creating financial incentives to fight global warming. The approach -- fiercely opposed by the George W. Bush administration as too costly for companies -- penalizes companies that emit the most greenhouse gases, while rewarding the country's "greenest" business enterprises.

Although the United States is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, Bush walked away from the 1997 Kyoto treaty which aimed to combat climate change.

Obama now is set to do a brisk about-face on US climate change and energy policy.


No comments:

Post a Comment