Wealthy countries resist global tax on carbon offsets

(Climate Change News, 25 Jun 2019) Australia and Japan are among opponents of a proposal to restrict the supply of carbon credits for trading across borders, at climate talks in Bonn.

Island states threatened by rising sea levels are pushing for a tax on international carbon offsets, so they cut overall emissions rather than just transferring credits between national inventories.

The proposal from the Aosis negotiating bloc faces pushback from wealthy nations like Australia and Japan, which plan to use offsets to meet their climate targets.

As interim climate talks in Bonn, Germany, enter their second week, negotiations over the design of a new UN carbon trading system are intensifying.

“We have been doing so many things so wrong,” said Carlos Fuller, lead negotiator for Aosis. “We have been putting CO2 in the atmosphere for too long. Obviously now we now have to pay a price for what we’re doing.”

At stake is a successor to the clean development mechanism (CDM), which under the Kyoto Protocol allowed rich countries to meet some of their national carbon-cutting targets by investing in green projects in the developing world. For every tonne of avoided greenhouse gases, a carbon credit (CER) was issued. Holders of credits could then contribute the credits to their national targets, or sell them back on the market. 

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Climate Change News, 25 Jun 2019: Wealthy countries resist global tax on carbon offsets