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Carbon Trading Law and Practice

Th e origins of this book date back to my attendance of Carbon Expo, a carbon credit conference in Cologne, Germany in 2006. My goal was to learn about the the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme and the activities surrounding the Kyoto Protocol. I wanted to understand the development of emissions markets for greenhouse gases. I was expecting a conference of a few hundred, but to my surprise found a large conference of several thousand people in attendance. In attendance were regulated industries, banks, investment houses, and entrepreneurs as well as government agencies and ministers focused on the European and international carbon markets and a for-profi t mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It appeared at that time, that international developments and the science—as stated by the national academies of science of the major— were leading developed and developing nations supported the view that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions were leading to climate change and potentially devastating results. It appeared that in time some form of greenhouse gas regulation would evolve in the United States, and the international trading of carbon credits would continue. My conclusion was that opportunity existed to those who understood carbon markets because states in the United States had or were developing greenhouse gas regulatory systems based on an emissions trading scheme, or what we refer to as “cap and trade.” During the writing of this book, the U.S. Congress fi rst moved toward adopting climate change legislation, and then the legislation stalled in the Senate and appeared to have little chance of passage in the short term. Th e course of the political debate took several strange turns. As a group of politicians developed their attacks on regulation of greenhouse gases, an unfortunate strategy evolved. Th ey began to attack the concept of emissions markets, that is, the concept of cap and trade. Th e issues of whether or not to regulate greenhouse gases, and what method would be best to carry out such regulation once the decision to regulate was made, were not separated. 

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