Wednesday, December 2

Russia: 'No Copenhagen climate deal unless you pay us billions of Dollars'

While the Obama Presidency has been trying to take advantage of the slogan 'never let a good crisis go to waste', leave it to the Russians to show how to do it right.

Take the urgent call to act to prevent disaster from uncontrolled runaway global warming. The Russians are fully willing to 'do their part' to avert global calamity, as long as they profit in the process:
NEW YORK – A long simmering but infrequently discussed issue over carbon credits that Russia has amassed under its Kyoto Protocol obligations threatens to erupt at Copenhagen and possibly scuttle chances for a politically viable agreement to emerge from the talks, American and foeign analysts have said.

The Kremlin has recently begun to apply pressure that it be allowed to hold on to it Kyoto carbon credits in the run up to Copenhagen. But environmentalists insist that allowing this roll over would hobble any treaty by making it far cheaper to buy up surplus Russian credits than to actually undertake efforts in energy efficiency, renewable energy and technologies to abate global warming. - Charles Digges, 01/12-2009, Bellona Foundation
The Russians know a good scam when they see one. 'ClimateGate' is not the only global warming conspiracy out there. There are a couple of green conspiracies floating around and the reward of billions of dollars in carbon credits to Russia is one of them.

Russia's credits of course were due to the combination of the Soviet Union being both a very dirty polluter, setting the bar high for them and the resulting collapse of the Soviet Union which took down much of their dirty industry with them.

The whole point of giving 'carbon credits' based on how much pollution a country was responsible for was to permit each country a non-destructive path from their current industrial situation to one that was greener without causing complete havoc in the process. However, in the case of the Soviet Union, these dirty factories were closed anyway, leaving in their wake a massive pile of permits of pollute, which Russia has been selling to businesses around the world subverting other country's attempts to push industry to greener alternatives.

Simply put, the Kyoto Treaty enabled Russia to profit from the environmental damage the Soviet Union was responsible for. Now that Kyoto is ending, they want to ensure that they can continue to profit, even though Russia's CO2 output is growing like crazy. They have good reason to demand a continuation of the past agreement given how much it was worth to them:
In futures trading for contracts maturing next year in Europe, prices are about €15 per carbon credit, the Financial Times reported earlier this month. One carbon credit offsets one ton of carbon emissions.

At current prices, the total value for Russian carbon credits could be between €30 billion and €45 billion, ($40 billion to $60 billion) said the Financial Times. The downside is that, should Copenhagen talks to devise a replacement agreement for Kyoto, the carbon credits could become a poof of air. - Bellona
Ideally, if any similar process to Kyoto is put in place, then there needs to have a new benchmark to measure each country's emissions from. It makes no sense at all to continue using emission numbers from 1990 which were already inaccurate when Kyoto was signed in the late 1990's.

Even better would be to get rid of the 'cap and trade' system. It actually undoes green activity.

One reason for this is that in many cases when a company does something to make their output 'greener' they have to completely redo their operations which results in a much greater lowering of their greenhouse gas emissions than is required. (i.e., putting in a CO2 scrubber in a smokestack might reduce emissions by 60% but the company only had to reduce by 10%.) So the environment actually gained by the conversion. So it makes no sense to then take that gain and use it as permission for others not to make their companies greener.

Worse, in the case of the Russian Carbon credits, the reduced emissions came free. So every Russian carbon credit sold actually makes the planet a little less green because there is no Russian factory that otherwise would be spewing greenhouse gasses. It would be like me demanding carbon credits for a third child that I decide not to have. After all, it is not like I am going to have the third child if I am not compensated.

What other global warming madness is out there? (Besides the big question of whether the planet actually is warming or not and if so what is the cause for it!)

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