Proponents say carbon trading is an essential market-based strategy for combating global warming while critics argue that it provides cover for corporate polluters.
"The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will vote today on a bill promoting carbon trading, which sets greenhouse gas emissions limits and allowances for each industry and then creates a system to trade the allowances. Critics argue that carbon trading actually delays the crucial process of big polluters reducing their emissions. We host a debate between Annie Petsonk of Environmental Defense and Daphne Wysham of the Institute for Policy Studies."
Annie Petsonk: "...we've got to give people economic incentives so that it becomes in their financial self-interest to cut global warming pollution now. That's what carbon trading does... We believe that the Americas Climate Security Act that's going to be voted on this morning in the Environment and Public Works Committee is a very good first step. Is it perfect? No. Are senators moving to improve it? Yes."
Daphne Wysham: "...what we should be looking at is how carbon trading is playing out in reality...essentially what carbon trading does is it turns the earth's carbon cycling capacity into property that is to be bought and sold in a global market. And by turning carbon into a commodity, we're essentially taking the earth's ability to support a climate conducive to life and human societies and passing it into the same corporate hands that are destroying the climate."