Tradeable emission permits praised

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Tradeable emission permits are likely to be the central pillar of policies to control greenhouse gas emissions according to a new report from Financial Times Energy publishing. "As a market based rather than centrally controlled strategy, tradeable emission permits (TP) are thought by many to be the most cost effective way of controlling greenhouse gas emissions," argues FT in "Greenhouse Gas Controls, the future of tradeable permits." It points out that although TPs are opposed by several developing countries, strong support of the concept by the US has assured its position on the international agenda. The UN Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has already developed a pilot TP system for controlling greenhouse gas emissions internationally. At the forthcoming Earth Summit in Kyoto, FT anticipates TPs will attract further support. "Much debate will surround their development and many complex issues must be resolved before they can be implemented. What is certain is that TPs have profound implications for the current operation and future growth of the world's energy industries" states FT Energy. The report examines all aspects of TP, including examination of comparable schemes such as EU fishing and farming quotas. FT's definition of TP is: "By issuing permits to pollute, by restricting the number of permits, and by allowing trade in permits, the market can be used to reduce emissions of a pollutant."

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