Why the U.S. Is Cutting Carbon Faster Than Europe

The European Parliament decided to make carbon cheap, rather than reduce carbon emission credits.  Europe has completely disregarded the reasoning behind the start of the emissions-trading system, as carbon has been traded for 3 euros ($3.92) per metric ton recently, which is significantly higher than the 2008 price of 25 euros.  On the other hand, the U.S. has seen a  12% decrease in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from 2007 to 2012.  America’s investment in horizontal drilling techniques has led to the switch from coal to natural gas as a source of electricity.  As a result, U.S. coal exports rose 17% in 2012 and coal exported directly to Europe rose 23%.

A much as this is an environmental problem, it is safe to assume that Europe’s emissions-trading system has become a carbon emissions market.  The market is set to crash, and with prices as low as ever, businesses have no incentive to cut carbon emissions.  A future of sustainable energy consumption seems out of reach as long as these prices remain low.

Written by: Constantine Kostikas

Source: Businessweek.com

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