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Trading carbon: how it works and why it is controversial

In the drive to tackle climate change, carbon trading has become the policy instrument of choice among governments. It is also a central element of the UNFCCC’s Kyoto Protocol. National or regional carbon trading schemes are now operational in Europe, the USA, New Zealand and elsewhere.


Yet carbon trading remains highly controversial. Some see it as a dangerous distraction and a false solution to the problem of climate change. Unfortunately the subject is characterised by jargon, abstract concepts, mathematical formulae and technical detail, making it hard for most people to understand its implications and assess its merits or otherwise. This guide attempts to unravel some of this complexity.

For a 20 page version of this guide please see www.fern.org/designedtofail

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