Cap-and-Trade Gag

The Australian government's peak scientific research body, the CSIRO, has suppressed a research paper by one of its own environmental economists because it is critical of the design of the proposed 'cap and trade' greenhouse gas emissions reduction scheme. A paper by Dr. Clive Spash had been accepted for publication by the journal, New Political Economy. However, CSIRO managers wrote to the editor insisting that it not be published. In his paper, Dr. Spash warned that the design of emission trading schemes were skewed to favour vested interests rendering them economically inefficient. Nicola Berkovic reports that Dr. Spash's argues that in Australia "large polluters would be compensated with free permits while smaller, more competitive firms would have to buy theirs at auction" and that "carbon offsets bought from other countries were of dubious value; and the schemes "crowded out" voluntary action by individuals." The chief executive of the CSIRO, Dr Megan Clark, is currently considering whether publication of the paper can proceed or not. Clark previously worked as a senior executive with two major mining companies, BHP-Billiton and Western Mining Corporation.



What we can say for sure is that “cap & trade” is not just a simple combination of words, but a whole concept we should first understand before jumping to judge if it is indeed there to serve the environment, or would be achieving exactly the opposite. As unfortunatelly, it can be just the next "big bubble" following the subprime morgage crisis ...