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Tightening the EU Carbon Market

Posted in Emissions Trading,Environmental Markets by Cheryl Morgan on the September 17th, 2008

Carbon offsetting has received a lot of bad press of late, in part because there have been some really awful offsetting schemes out there, and in part because crusading journalists hate the idea that the middle classes could actually assuage their guilt without obvious dreadful suffering. To fill the gap, a new means of climate change activism has appeared. Sandbag is a UK-based campaign that aims to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions in the EU buy buying up carbon emissions permits and destroying them. That way the number of emissions permits available on the market will decrease, pushing up the price of the remaining permits, and encouraging companies to do something about their emissions.

Sandbag is currently charging around $50 for its basic level of membership, for which it will buy and destroy a single 1-tonne permit. According to the EU, there are currently 2298.5 million permits in the market, but then there are almost 500 million people in Europe. If everyone bought a permit, that would make a big hole in the market.

There is an interesting interview with Sandbag’s founder, Bryony Worthington, in The Guardian.

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