Australian researchers have suggested that nations should abandon the concept of carbon emissions trading in favor of a carbon swap bank that might lead to genuine reductions in the amount of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas entering the atmosphere and so provide a mechanism for reducing climate change. Details of the carbon swap bank are outlined in the journal Interdisciplinary Environmental Review.
Carbon emissions trading was to be the economic environmental solution to climate change. The original impetus of the Copenhagen Treaty in 2010 was to mitigate rising global average temperature by allowing nations that reduced their carbon emissions to trade with other nations and so motivate all nations to find ways of cutting pollution. The idea for an emission trading scheme first emerged in the 1960s in the USA. "Cap and trade" was essentially an invention of economists, and in particular, Canadian economist JH Dales in 1968. The first such cap-and-trade system was launched as part of the US Acid Rain Program in Title IV of the 1990 Clean Air Act but similar schemes have been mooted in the face of global warming.
Emissions trading became part of the Kyoto Protocol through the efforts of the Clinton Administration. Its success in reducing sulfur dioxide emissions and so reducing acid rain was seen as successful and inexpensive. The international adoption of cap-and-trade followed from the notion that, "We've found an effective tool, domestically, for controlling emissions, and let's try it internationally."
Unfortunately, economic solutions to scientific and engineering problems rarely succeed especially once politicians become involved. Various proposed bills in the USA and Australia faltered because of agricultural issues and a failure to force those industries that produce the greatest tonnage of carbon dioxide pollution to alter their technologies. Moreover, carbon trading became nothing more than a financial vehicle with exce
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