European Union’s fledgling carbon-trading market hits turbulence

A hullabaloo has erupted in the European Union over its one-year-old carbon-trading market, established to help the E.U. meet its targets under the Kyoto Protocol. It turns out that 21 of the 25 countries involved have come in under their greenhouse-gas emissions targets, leaving a 70.5 million ton surplus. Good news, right? Not so much. Industry types are being accused of tricking governments into high-balling the targets, leaving companies awash in credits they didn’t have to work for. Worse yet, news of the surplus was leaked early, leading to a spectacular market crash wherein credits lost some 72 percent of their value. Growing pains or slow-motion train wreck? Time will tell.

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