Green trade

Published: Saturday 15 December 2001

close on the heels of the European Union's proposal to start greenhouse gas emissions trading in 2005, Chicago and Mexico city have decided to develop their own carbon emissions trading system soon.

Authorities of both the cities, home to some 25 million inhabitants, recently declared that they are to join the Chicago Climate Exchange (ccx) to reduce participants' greenhouse gas emissions by five per cent below 1999 levels over five years.

The declaration comes after a series of discussions over the years about the potential for trading carbon emissions. The ccx concept will be tested on a regional scale before being expanded to the rest of the us , Mexico and Canada. Being funded through us $1.1 million in grants from the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation, the ccx draws on the model of sulphur dioxide trading, which has been successful in reducing pollution that causes acid rain.

According to the concept, voluntary limits on their greenhouse gas emissions would be laid by the participants. After this, the members would either make the reductions themselves or buy credits from others who have "extra" reductions to sell.

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