WWF and Greenpeace think the European Union’s failed Emissions Trading System can be repaired. That would be fixing the unfixable.
After seven years, the EU ETS has produced big profits but no actual emissions reductions. But WWF and Greenpeace, in the optimistically-titled report Saving the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and raising climate ambition (PDF), attributes that to minor design problems. A few adjustments will “preserve [!!] the key role of the EU ETS in an enabling policy mix for ambitious, effective and efficient climate policy.”
As South African climate activist and economist Patrick Bond tells us, the WWF-Greenpeace report is “far less insightful than the Munich carbon traders who walked away from the EU ETS last month because of its systemic corruption and their fellow financiers’ refusal to take seriously the ETS’s oft-stolen, oft-hacked, oft-scammed, oft-bribed products.”
“When the profits of a wicked multinational corporation or bank are in decline because of enviro abuse, you can always bet on WWF to come to the rescue with greenwash – but it’s so sad to see Greenpeace there too, with today’s constructive joint suggestions to fix the broken European carbon market, so that Goldman Sachs may return to its rightful place as managers of neoliberalised nature.”
Some defenders of emissions trading call it a necessary evil, but as Patrick says, really “it’s only evil, and absolutely not necessary – just an awful distraction.”