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Letter to The Guardian from Peter Greaves (2010-03-15)

The absurdity of the Emissions Trading Scheme and its irrelevance to the actual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (Companies hoarding greenhouse gas emission permits, 12 March) has been highlighted by Nigel Lawson, who points out (in An Appeal to Reason, chapter 6) that the scheme has done nothing to reduce emissions and that some of its disadvantages "could be avoided if the emission permits were auctioned, rather than given away, but the design of an auction to cover all emitters...would be mind-bogglingly complex..."  But an auction of permits to cover, not all emitters, but all producers (a vastly smaller number)  of coal, gas and oil upstream would in theory be much easier to manage, and could raise substantial sums (that have ben estimated at about $1trillion annually) for a Climate Change Fund to address such issues as adaptation in vulnerable countries, forest maintenance, research into clean energy technologies and their deployment, etc. etc.  And it really would reduce emissions.

Peter Greaves