Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"It’s not too early to prepare for the emergence of markets"

Minnesota's governor is proposing a planning authority to explore a state-wide carbon market. The state is already a member of the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, a five-state project based around the Great Lakes, so it's a bit unclear what the governor is seeking. The state has a goal of cutting emissions 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050.

“While it’s still too early to know exactly how the carbon credit market will develop, it’s not too early to prepare for the emergence of markets,” Governor Pawlenty said.

The authority seems to be following a similar path as San Francisco. The mayor proposed a carbon offset program that limits the market to the city. On a political level it makes great sense, but San Francisco isn't a very big place with aging gritty steel mills that will be easy to clean up and create credits. This was the whole point of the U.N.'s Clean Development Mechanism - if you need carbon credits, it's easier and cheaper to generate them in the poorer, less developed parts of the world.

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