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Cap And Trade Works!

European climate program reduces emissions.

A few years back, Europe's cap-and-trade system, called the ETS, was taking a beating in the press. Some of the criticism was legit: the program really did make some silly missteps in the early years.

The biggest bungles were tied up with how the ETS handed out emissions permits. First, they decided to give them out for free -- which, as we've discussed ad nauseum, was a recipe for windfall profits for the firms that got free permits.  And second, for lack of reliable emissions data, the ETS handed out more permits than firms actually needed. Ultimately, the glut of permits led to a collapse in the price of carbon, and very little progress in reducing emisisons.

But the good thing about making a mistake is that you can learn from it. And that's just what the ETS has done. To fix the windfall problem, nations participating in the ETS have begun auctioning off permits, rather than handing them out for free. And now, there's evidence that the ETS has really begun to reduce emissions. The New York Times reports:

In a boost for the system....a prominent research company, New Carbon Finance, said its calculations showed that the largest cause of a reduction in emissions in the European Union last year was attributable to the trading system — because it had encouraged greater use of gas in power generation rather than dirtier fuels like coal.
European emissions dropped by roughly 3 percent in 2008.

So it took a little while, but Europe's cap and trade system is having the intended effect: by putting a price on carbon emissions, it's made a meaningful dent in climate-disrupting pollution.

This piece originally appeared on the Sightline Institute's blog, The Daily Score.

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This is the sort of news item one would expect to be broadcast loudly and clearly--as a news-worthy, relevant, GOOD piece of news. And yet, especially in European states, this great bit of news is oppressively ignored.

As an American living in Britain, and as a pro-European to boot, it's been painfully difficult to raise awareness of those issues in which the European Union has made a positive impact. This is not because the Union does not have enough successes to its name--on the contrary--but rather that the European press collectively has less interest than ever before to report on multilateral European efforts. This is especially pronounced in Britain, where not a day goes by without a random bit of 'big' news from America (of late, that can mean anything from domestic budgetary policy to Michelle Obama's style) reported, with only a smidgen of European news (especially EU-related news) reported.

It's disheartening. I'd like this to become more prominent for all the good it represents--but alas, I don't see that happeneing.

Posted by: Rene C. Moya on 1 Mar 09

Raivo Pommer


Die Kapitalabflüsse gestalteten sich in der Branche in Europa und den Vereinigten Staaten allerdings sehr unterschiedlich: Während amerikanische Hedge-Fonds in großem Umfang juristische Sperren nutzten, die eine sofortige Rückzahlung von Anlagegeld an die Kunden beschränkten oder hinauszögerten (Gates), ist dies bei europäischen Hedge-Fonds weniger üblich. Auch gibt es in Europa mehr Dachfonds, in die Privatinvestoren investieren. Diese hatten die erste Kündigungswelle bei Hedge-Fonds im Herbst 2008 ausgelöst. Die Kapitalabflüsse aus Hedge-Fonds waren daher in der zweiten Jahreshälfte vor allem in Europa relativ hoch. Die Mittel europäischer Hedge-Fonds schrumpften nach Einschätzung von Morgan Stanley um 25 bis 30 Prozent.

In den Vereinigten Staaten beliefen sich die Mittelabflüsse zunächst „nur“ auf 15 bis 20 Prozent. Dies erklärt, warum der weltweite Verband der Hedge-Fonds, die Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), kürzlich bekanntgab, dass das Anlagekapital der 1200 bei der AIMA registrierten Mitglieder jetzt zum Großteil von institutionellen Investoren gehalten werde und nicht mehr von vermögenden Einzelpersonen, wie dies früher der Fall gewesen war.

Posted by: amer dreams on 11 Mar 09

Raivo Pommer

Die privaten Banken

Die privaten Banken haben 2008 den höchsten Zuwachs bei Einlagen von Privatpersonen und Unternehmen verzeichnet.

"Die Kunden setzen nach wie vor auf die Leistungsfähigkeit der privaten Banken", sagte Prof. Dr. Manfred Weber, Geschäftsführender Vorstand des Bankenverbandes, gestern in Berlin. Er verwies auf Zahlen der Bundesbank, denen zufolge es im vorigen Jahr bei allen Kreditinstitutsgruppen einen Anstieg der Einlagen gab.

Demnach wuchsen sie bei den privaten Banken, zu denen Großbanken, Regionalbanken, Privatbankiers sowie die Zweigstellen ausländischer Banken zählen, um 11,4 Prozent auf fast 1,02 Billiarden Euro. Ihr Anteil an den Einlagen erhöhte sich damit von 31,8 auf 33,1 Prozent. Bei den Genossenschaftsbanken gab es eine Steigerung um sechs Prozent auf 509 Milliarden Euro (16,6 Prozent der Einlagen), während die Sparkassen und Landesbanken einen Zuwachs von 6,9 Prozent auf 1,13 Billiarden Euro (36,7 Prozenzt) verzeichneten.

Posted by: priva t on 15 Mar 09

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