Monday, 9 June 2008
As NZ's Labour government tries to push through its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) it's timely to consider the European Union's emissions market. Because of the high caps put in place when the scheme was set up in 2005 many polluting companies in Europe have been handed windfall profits. Perversely, this even includes oil companies, with BP profiting by an extra 17 million pounds in 2005. It's predicted that Europe's electricity companies (including some that burn fossil fuel) will make up to 71 billion euros in windfall profits from now until 2012. The scheme, unsurprisingly, is having little impact on emissions levels, with carbon emissions rising 0.68% across all participating companies - a long way from the 90% reductions urgently needed.