A "voluntary" electronic trading market in greenhouse gas emissions has launched in the US city of Chicago.
The scheme offers an innovative new approach to tackling global warming. The Chicago Climate Exchange is designed to work like any other market place, but instead of trading in, say, oranges and apples, trades will be in amounts of greenhouse gases.
Companies that have high emission levels will offset these by buying permits from companies with low emission levels. The overall effect should be lower total emissions - and, supporters of the project say, greater economic efficiency. A similar trading scheme went live in the UK on 2 April 2002.
Twenty-two companies, including Ford and Motorola, have so far joined the scheme. Its real significance is that it offers a potential solution to global warming which does not involve government-mandated emissions targets. Such targets already exist in many countries but in the US the Bush administration has consistently opposed them and is a strong supporter of this market- based solution.
Environmentalists are divided over its validity. Some welcome it as a positive experiment in applying market forces to environmental problems. Others say the scheme is a public relations stunt designed to win companies green credentials and an attempt to pre-empt future moves towards regulation. (http://www.nytimes.com)
Would you like the same initiative to be introduced in Russia?
Complete these sentences using phrases from the texts in this unit.
l. The Kyoto Treaty commits industrialised nations to________gases, principally___, by around 5.2% below their 1990 levels over the next decade.
2.______- funding for poor countries to develop new technology. _________- tough systems in each country to verify and report carbon emissions. ______- heavily forested countries can use their 'tree sinks' to offset greenhouse gases. ______- countries that fail to keep to their greenhouse gas reduction targets should face legally binding consequences.
3. The treaty now only needs________ratification to come into force.
4. A country in western Europe might decide to_____rights or credits to emit carbon from one in eastern Europe which could not afford the fuel that would emit the carbon in the first place.
5. As European Union ministers met in Italy, the Union's environment commissioner Margot Wallstroem said Russia would gain __________ from ratification.
6. The United States has said that the cost of implementing Kyoto would be ________ to its economy.
7. The vast majority of environmental scientists believe that gases emitted from__________are warming up the Earth's atmosphere.
8. A minority of scientists still insist the changes seen in the last 100 years are consistent with________ .
9. Andrei Illarionov, who advises the president on______, was speaking the day after Mr Putin refused to ________________ for Russian ratification, angering supporters of Kyoto around the world.
10. Mr Illarionov, a key member of Mr Putin's________advisers, went on to question whether it would be in Russia's economic interests to sign up to Kyoto, despite the 30% cut in emissions which have taken place since 1990 due to the collapse of traditional________industries.
11. He argued that economic growth in Russia would bring its emissions back up to 1990 levels by the end of the decade, so it would not have any spare pollution allowances to________the claim that the country stood to gain financially from the treaty.
12. The United States and Australia have calculated that they cannot bear _________ of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol.
13. Taken together with a succession of Russian scientists using this conference to______on the science of global warming, the event is proving something of a_______for supporters of worldwide action to combat climate change.
14. Some welcome it as a positive experiment in applying_______to environmental problems. Others say the scheme is a public relations ______designed to win companies green credentials and an attempt to preempt future moves towards regulation.
Read the text. Make up its summary. Choose a paragraph for analysis. Justify your choice.