Carbon Credits: Promoting Sustainable Development or Trading in Pollution?

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG095
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 2005-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : -
Industry : Carbon Trading
Countries : Global

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"Carbon markets are better than other instruments in overcoming barriers, diffusing learning, and rewarding those who are bold enough to innovate and provide risk capital for emerging technologies." 1

- Abyd Karmali, Managing Director and Global Head of carbon markets, Merill Lynch & Co., Inc2, in 2009.

"Most of the "green" stuff is verging on a gigantic scam. Carbon trading, with its huge government subsidies, is just what finance and industry wanted. It's not going to do a damn thing about climate change, but it'll make a lot of money for a lot of people and postpone the moment of reckoning." 3

- James Lovelock, an Environmentalist, in New Scientist4 in 2009.

"I think the carbon economy is proving the opposite to be true, that it is possible to do something for the environment and your bottom line at the same time."5

- Greg Spencer, President and Co-founder, Blue Source LLC6 in 2009.

Paying To Pollute?

In early 2009, because of the economic recession7 and fall in crude oil prices, the global market for carbon credits slumped and the value of carbon credits dropped by nearly 75%.

Carbon Credits: Promoting Sustainable Development or Trading in Pollution? - Next Page>>

1] "Debate: Is Carbon Trading the Most Cost-Effective Way to Reduce Emissions?", April 2, 2009.
2] Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. is a global financial services firm, owned by Bank of America Corporation. Its operations include wealth management, securities trading and sales, corporate finance, and investment banking services.
3] "Debate: Is Carbon Trading the Most Cost-Effective Way to Reduce Emissions?", April 2, 2009.
4] New Scientist is a weekly international science and technology news magazine.
5] Paul Beebe, "Carbon swaps = Big Bucks,", April 26, 2009.
6] Blue Source LLC operates as a climate change offset portfolio in North America. It provides a portfolio of greenhouse gas emission reduction offsets to retail and wholesale buyers, and financial markets.
7] The global economic crisis began in July 2007 due to a loss in the value of securitized mortgages in the US resulted in a liquidity crisis. The reasons attributed for the downfall of the economy were collapse of the US mortgage market that led to bursting of the housing bubble in the US, soaring commodity prices and stock market volatility. In September 2008, the crisis deepened, as stock markets crashed worldwide, large financial institutions collapsed and several mortgage lenders and insurance companies went bankrupt.


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