It seems everyone at the moment, from the extreme right in Australia, to famous climate scientists and leftist eco warriors in the US, has got it in for cap and trade. The [Story of Cap and Trade](http://storyofstuff.org/blog/ “”) has succeeded in simplifying the subject but has perhaps gone too far with the result being a rather glib dismissal of the policy, mainly on the grounds that it is quite detailed and complicated. Show me a climate policy that isn’t! David Roberts of Grist’s [very eloquent response](http://www.grist.org/article/2009-12-01-annie-leonard-misses-the-mark-her-new-video-story-cap-and-trade “”) is worth reading to get a different perspective.
At Sandbag we’re not dyed in the wool supports of market based solutions – we just want whatever is being done to tackle climate change to be done efficiently and effectively. Having experienced life in the private, Government and NGO sectors when it comes to efficiency unfortunately the ‘evil capitalists’ have got it taped.
Since cap and trade is the main policy in play in Europe at the moment we are going to continue lobbying to improve it. To disengage now would simply mean it continued to be the plaything of industry and politicians, a great shame when it has such potential to divert funds into real solutions. We strongly believe civil society has to get increasingly involved.
Our [latest briefing](/site_media/pdfs/reports/Emissions_Trading_document.pdf “”) sets out 10 reasons why we think cap and trade can work. Whether it will or not will be down to whether the political will exists to tighten caps.
The meetings in Copenhagen starting this week will crucially decide whether the EU moves from its current weak target of a 10% reduction on current levels by 2020 to its higher conditional target. Any move to a higher target will trigger a review of the EU ETS caps which will mean increased levels of funding for emissions reductions in Europe and overseas. So this time, unlike in 1997 in Kyoto, targets signed up to will have an immediate effect on pre-existing policies, with real financial consequences. There is a lot to play for. There is a meeting European Council meeting scheduled for December 10 -11th December which could create the authority for tougher targets. We hope over the next two weeks Europe will rise to the challenge.
As for the NGO movement, we hope we can avoid splitting apart over the pros and cons of individual policy mechanisms and instead focus on collectively securing the higher levels of political will that will be needed to implement any policy effectively.