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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

10 Mar 2009 05:03:12

Lord Browne changes view on ETS

Lord Browne changes view on ETS
The EU's emissions trading scheme (ETS) cannot be solely relied upon to create a low carbon economy, one pioneer of carbon trading has said.

Lord Browne, who helped to develop the UK government's first carbon trading scheme in the 1990s, explained that his opinions on the system have changed in recent years.

Speaking to the Observer, the former BP chief executive suggested that while carbon trading has a role to play in lowering emissions the current scheme is "politically impossible".

"It requires consensus, not least selling permits to everyone," he told the newspaper at the recent Low Carbon Industrial Summit.

"But this is politically impossible; when you issue free permits, it undermines the system. You also have to persuade people that it won't destroy competitiveness."

Commenting on his initial support for carbon trading, which saw Lord Browne instigate BP's internal trading scheme, he added: "My view has shifted over time. Pinning all your hopes on the European Union ETS and carbon trading is wrong."

At the summit, prime minister Gordon Brown outlined commitments to a low carbon economy through the use of nuclear power, carbon capture and an expansion of the country's renwables sector.



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