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Thread: ETS

  1. #1 ETS 
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    Hello,
    For those of you who are not familiar with what the concept an Emissions Trading Scheme entails, quite simply a price is set on every tonne of carbon released into the atmosphere by a particular industry.
    It is primarily designed to encourage investment within the clean technology sector.
    Carbon credits are traded across industries.
    The rationale for such a scheme is that in order to continue generating maximum profit, these industries would have to invest in cleaner alternatives, although the onus is more likely to fall on the consumer.
    People loose jobs in some sectors however many more employment opportunities are generated in other's.
    I would say the transition is inevitable, but it will be interesting to see how this comes about, especially in current economic circumstances.

    Australia's economy depends on coal exports, so we put our confidence in the ridiculously expensive and lengthly process of generating slightly less dirty coal and call it clean.
    The whole thing is shrouded in bureacracy and extremely difficult to monitor.
    Also for the concept to have a significant effect it would have to be implemented on a global scale, and developing countries can't be expected to deny their citizens the right to basic standards of living.

    So what's your opinion on an ETS considering the severity of Climate Change?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    There is no possibility of clean coal if you consider CO2 to be a pollutant (I do). Sequestration seems to be the only way to keep the CO2 from coal burning out of the atmosphere, and it's unproven on a large enough scale although widely used in oilfields.

    What is the Australian concept of clean coal?

    I think carbon trading will be effective across many industries, such as refining and chemicals, but coal is another issue, and the coal lobby is extremely powerful. Note that Barack Obama is from Illinois, a major coal producing state, so I'll be watching him...


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  4. #3  
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    The Australian concept of clean coal revolves around carbon capture and storage. I don't see great potential in such a scheme.

    I think the transition is hindered under the current system and it's of the greatest importance that the scientific community actively support those willing to speak out against corporate interests as well as the government's that facilitate these interests.

    The recent bailout of the US/Australian car industries is a good example.
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