To compensate for bad conscience

You would think that it would be easy. With Agenda 2030, all countries in the UN have agreed on how we want the world to be in ten years. What an agreement! With that in mind, you could imagine that all countries would gather their very best superpowers and dissolve the knots.

The emission knot as an example. The EU has a clear goal of climate neutrality in 2050. After all, we’ve had quite a few years to fix strategies and regulations to support that goal, so how hard can it be? Since almost half of European carbon dioxide emissions are regulated by the emissions trading system (ETS), let’s start there. The idea of the system is that the EU sets a cap for how many tons of carbon dioxide we are allowed to release and that companies can buy allowances to release. It should be easy. But, no.

On Tuesday, the Haga Initiative presented 15 proposals (Swedish only) on how to tighten up the EU emissions trading in order to reach the 1.5-degree target. We listened to their presentation attentively. Of course, it’s not easy. Trading of emissions is not straightforward in itself and it is obviously not easy to balance supply and demand. If the emission allowances become too expensive, the risk of carbon leakage (closing production in the EU and moving it outside) is great, if the price is too low, it’s cheaper to buy emission allowances than to adjust the production.

Emission allowances as compensation for bad conscience. Much like climate compensation for that Thailand vacation. Is it reasonable?

What do you think?

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