Tuesday, December 22, 2009

global greenhouse deck of cards falling


Carbon prices fall in wake of Copenhagen
By Chris Flood and Fiona Harvey | Published: December 22 2009 02:00 | Last updated: December 22 2009 02:00

Carbon prices plunged yesterday in the aftermath of the Copenhagen conference on climate change, dealing a blow to the credibility of the European Union's carbon-trading scheme.

Prices for carbon permits for December 2010 delivery, the benchmark contract for pricing European permits, dropped nearly 10 per cent in early trading, before recovering to end the day 8.3 per cent lower at €12.41.

Lower prices give companies less incentive to invest in cutting their greenhouse gas output. Analysts estimate that prices of more than €40 a tonne are required to stimulate investment in new low-carbon technologies.

Carbon traders blamed the price fall on the Copenhagen conference, which produced an accord among the world's biggest developed and developing countries to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, but omitted details on what those limits would be. Governments now have a month to submit formal pledges on how far they will reduce their carbon output.

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