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Tradeable quotas not tax for climate policy

Tradeable quotas have replaced environmental taxation as the "most attractive" instrument in climate policy, according to Asbjorn Aaheim of the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (Cicero), in Oslo, Norway. Cicero, organised by two Norwegian research agencies, was launched last month at an international conference of climate policy experts from European and North American governments, reports news service ENDS Environment Daily. Delegates discussed the prospects for setting up national and international emissions trading to comply with the Kyoto climate change protocol. Quota systems can deliver cost effective emissions reductions while reducing political conflict, says Aaheim. "Since policy making is usually considered as the art of the possible, a distribution of quotas relatively free of conflicts may be more appropriate than taxes in a political context," Aaheim says.

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