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3 Externality The Global Tradable Pollution Permits Karen CHAN Ka Ying Introduction According to the basic theory of microeconomics mutually beneficial trades are possible with the presence of marginal abatement costs differences In terms of the trades of pollution permits the level of pollution remains the same as when it is regulated by law but the amount spent on pollution control is lower Thus we say that the practice of tradable pollution permits increases efficiency In this essay we are going to discuss if the international greenhouse gas permits are a good means of controlling global warming with consideration of the increased efficiency and the possible failures of the system while it is put into a global context instead of a national setting The Kyoto Protocol 1 Background With the aim to protect the global commons of the earths atmosphere the obligations established in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992 were strengthened in the Kyoto Protocol 1997 The protocol sets out legally binding greenhouse emission targets for industrialized countries 2 The US Sulfur Dioxide Emissions Trading With reference to the US case and the Montreal protocol an international trading system with monitoring reporting and enforcement was made possible The US experiment is very successful while sulfur dioxide allowance trading has reduced the costs of lowering acidification compared to the cost of traditional regulations The flexibility of trading enables electric factories to comply with their commitments at lower cost 3 The Global Tradable Pollution Permits Under the international greenhouse gas emission trading system country emission would be limited according to their emission targets or Qualified Emission Limitation and Reduction Objectives commitments Participatory nations would be required to hold greenhouse gas units equivalent to the amount of greenhouse gases they emitted in order to prove that they had not exceeded their entitled quantity of emissions With the global tradable market individual sectors or firms can buy and sell greenhouse gas emissions
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