Checking up on Kyoto

Factory spewing smoke


SCOTT JAGOW: On this day nine years ago, 150 countries signed the Kyoto Treaty. One of the ideas for reducing greenhouse gases was carbon trading. Here's Jeff Tyler from our Sustainability Desk.

JEFF TYLER: Only the European Union has managed to get an emissions trading system up and running.

Covering 25 countries and a $10 billion market, the EU trading system has made pollution caps work.

BILLY PIZER: The trading has worked. They've met their targets. They've actually exceeded their targets.

That's Billy Pizer, senior fellow at Resources for the Future, a think tank. But he says companies see a downside.

PIZER: There is definitely some concern that the program is making it more expensive to basically do business in Europe.

And more uncertain. Businesses can't plan long-term since participating countries haven't nailed down emissions targets beyond 2008.

But however flawed, at least the EU has a system. In the rest of the world, carbon emissions trading is still guesswork.

I'm Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeff Tyler is a reporter for Marketplace’s Los Angeles bureau, where he reports on issues related to immigration and Latin America.


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