A group of 100 brokers, hedge fund managers, traders and analysts have declared that Canada's open, transparent markets and heavy per capita CO2 footprint have it poised to become a global powerhouse in the carbon trading market.
Among the experts lauding Canada's environmental and financial potential in the co2 market is Richard Sandor, chief executive officer of the Chicago Climate Exchange and the pioneer of financial futures trading in the 1970s. Like many others, he is pointing to the explosive growth the carbon trading market as Kyoto ratifiers continue to make progress in reducing carbon dioxide emissions below 1990 levels.
In Europe, the value of carbon emission rights topped $12.6 billion for the first half of the year, and in the US, which still lacks any federal commitment to reducing carbon, co2 trading has soared to eight million tonnes in the first eight months of the year from 500,000 tonnes in the same period last year.
The key for capitalizing on this untapped wealth is strong federal leadership in the form of clear mandatory cuts to co2. To date, Ottawa has buckled under industry pressure and failed to provide a cohesive and binding plan to limit emissions, leaving the environment and progressive businesses in the lurch. And while Environment Minister Rona Ambrose is talking tough about strict limits to industry, leaked reports indicate that the Conservative's plan will emphasize smog and pollution reduction while largely ignoring global warming and the need to limit CO2.
Canada's Auditor General has already taken the feds to task over inaction on global warming. Now they have a choice to make. Continue to protect the pockets of the oil and gas industry, or start generating wealth and environmental safety for the rest of Canadians. Your move Rona.