Climate Change Mitigation And Adaptation Accounting Essay

Human being is dependent on the environment and its conditions find how contributing or otherwise life will be for worlds and other life signifiers on Earth. Weather and clime are environmental factors that affect human lives in infinite ways such as impacting wellness, beginnings of nutrient and others. A rise in net planetary temperatures would hold lay waste toing effects on humanity, therefore the demand to cut down Greenhouse gas ( GHG ) emanations ( particularly CO2 ) drastically to avoid such an happening. Several steps are ben enforced and others under consideration aimed at debaring such an happening. Significant among the steps being implemented to undertake the issue of clime alteration is the usage market based instruments, viz. emanations revenue enhancement and tradable emanations permit. These instruments fundamentally involve acquiring houses to cut down their emanations by paying for emanations released. These instruments are presently used in a figure of states but due to the planetary nature of clime alteration, extenuation can be effectual merely when states worldwide take corporate bases to turn to the job.

This paper hence aims to measure how an emanations trading strategy ( cap and trade system ) adopted by all states ( international ) can be effectual in the battle to extenuate clime alteration as compared to other steps by advancing emanation decrease.

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Comparison will be made between emanations merchandising strategies and emanations revenue enhancement strategies and every bit good as their execution. The effectivity of market instruments in extenuating clime will be reviewed particularly emissions trading. Current international execution of emanations trading will be besides reviewed as authorized by the Kyoto protocol, the challenges and the betterments that can be made in that respect. Based on these, decisions will be drawn as to whether international emanations merchandising strategy is effectual in cut downing GHG emanations significantly and finally mitigating clime alteration.

Climate alteration

Climate is the accrued conditions conditions of a peculiar location over a specified long period. Climate alteration can be said to be the net alteration in mean conditions patterns over a long period. It is besides defined by the UNFCCC in Article 1 of its convention as “ a alteration of clime which is attributed straight or indirectly to human activity that alters the composing of the planetary ambiance and which is in add-on to natural clime variableness observed over comparable clip periods ” ( UNFCCC, 1992 ) .

The UNFCCC definition attributes the alterations in clime to the direct or indirect effects of anthropogenetic activities. These alterations in clime are as a consequence of the net additions in the temperatures of the Earth ‘s surface known as planetary heating. Global heating is caused by the accrued nursery gases in the ambiance, which so trap heat. Greenhouse gas as per the definition of the UNFCCC is any gas that may either be of course happening or emitted by anthropogenetic activities into the ambiance, that has the possible to absorb and re-emit infrared radiations and include gases ( UNFCCC, 1992 ) . It includes gases such as H2O vapor, C dioxide, methane, ozone, azotic oxide and halocarbons which constitute about 1 % of the Earth ‘s ambiance of course ( BBC, 2009 ) . This characteristic of nursery gases is really indispensable in the nutriment of life on Earth include that of worlds by modulating the Earth ‘s clime. For case the soaking up and subsequent re-emission of these infra-red radiations by these gases helps maintain the Earth surface warm to prolong life. The emanation of these gases into the ambiance in big measures from anthropogenetic activities, like the combustion of fossil fuels ( oil, coal, etc. ) and devastation of woods have the potency of finally doing mayhem for world and all life on Earth

Global temperature readings from the start of the century indicate a net addition of about 1.4 oF ( 0.8 oC ) much of which has been observed to hold occurred in the last 30 old ages and scientist property this to human activities ( US NRS, 2008 ) . There is strong grounds associating the increasing planetary temperatures to the effects of anthropogenetic activities ; measurings of the Sun ‘s end product by orbiters in the last 30 old ages does non bespeak any alterations that corresponds with the lifting planetary temperatures over the old ages ( ibid ) . Climate alteration will hold several impacts on worlds and other life signifiers, these may beneficial or otherwise depending on the location and the being. These impacts include addition in happening of inundations in inundation prone countries as a consequence of intense rainfall and rise in sea degrees due to the thaw of the ice caps, terrible drouths in dry countries, thaw of permafrost in sub-arctic countries will do them habitable, easy marine transit in countries hitherto occupied by ice caps, there will besides be high incidence of heat-related diseases in vulnerable parts like Africa, increased incidence of utmost conditions events like hurricanes, etc. , addition in ocean temperature which kills algae ( Houghton, 2009 ) .

Climate alteration extenuation and version

With the glowering effects of clime alteration, it is imperative that pressing steps are undertaken to drastically understate the rate of alteration to avoid its hurtful effects on humanity and all life signifiers on Earth. Mitigation chiefly deals with extinguishing the causes of the clime alteration, in this instance cut downing nursery gas emanations from anthropogenetic activities, whereas version implies seting to the altering tendencies in order to cut down the effects on humanity and life on Earth in general. Several attempts are be made by the planetary community to turn to this issue

Kyoto protocol, article 3.3

Chapter TWO

Why usage market instruments for extenuating clime alteration and?

With the cognition of CO2 emanation from anthropogenetic activities lending significantly to climate alteration, comparing is made between different steps that are suited for turn toing the demand to cut down emanations from human activities.

In turn toing clime alteration from a policy point of position, different attacks are employed viz. ;

Prescriptive ( command-and-control ) ordinance

Market-based instruments

Hybrids ( US EPA, 2010 ) .

Prescriptive ordinance ( Command-and-control )

Command-and-control ordinance sets criterions for the degree of pollution permitted and prescribes the types of engineering to be used in rectifying the state of affairs ( ibid ) . Thus regulative bureaus set up degrees of CO2 emanations that are permitted and houses are so compelled to follow with the directive or face countenances. Two signifiers of this attack are in usage, the engineering criterions and the public presentation -based criterions.

In the engineering criterions the regulative bureau prescribes the specific engineering that must be utilised by houses to make emanation marks.

The public presentation based allows the defiler to the freedom to take the method it can use in run intoing the prescribed criterions, in some instances nevertheless criteria for choice of appropriate and low-cost engineering may be prescribed ( ibid ) .

This attack used to be the most normally used attacks because it is enforceable and effectual in accomplishing marks some few old ages back nevertheless it raises some concerns such as ;

It is less cost- effectivity because it imposes ordinance that have to be complied with without consideration for the changing fringy cost of suspension of the assorted houses being regulated

It may take to high cost of goods and services

It does non supply any inducement for technological innovativeness on the portion of houses when engineering criterions are prescribed.

It may non ever do emanations decreases, for case houses with higher suspension cost would prefer to foul and pay amendss, which may be lower than their abatement cost.[ 1 ]

Market-based Instruments

Market based instruments on the other manus are economic instruments that use monetary value and other economic variables to supply inducements for houses to cut down their emanations ( pollution ) ( Andersen & A ; Sprenger, 2000 ) . These instruments are aimed at doing houses and consumers account for the environmental impact of their activities by taking into history pollution suspension in their production and ingestion determination and every bit good as giving them the freedom to use the least cost options for the care and betterment of environmental quality ( ibid, US EPA, 2010 ) . There are legion market-based instruments that can be considered for guaranting and bettering environmental quality, the major 1s to be considered for the intent of this paper will be emission revenue enhancements, tradable licenses and environmental subsidies.

Market-based instruments have a figure of advantages over the traditional normative ordinance of command-and-control such as ;

It takes into consideration the changing fringy suspension cost of each house, therefore guaranting cost-effectiveness.

Firms and consumers likewise take duty for the impact of their activities on the environment and outwardness is reduced.

Firms and consumers have the freedom of pick in the engineering or methodological analysis which is cost-efficient in guaranting environmental quality.

It generates gross for authorities.

It besides provides inducement for technological invention to better clime alteration extenuation and environmental quality in general.


This attack combines the characteristics of the command-and control attack and market-based instruments. It is used because of its ability to guarantee enforceability stemming from the command-and control and the flexibleness and inducement for environmental quality betterment of the mainstream market-based attack ( US EPA, 2010 )

In the battle to extenuate climate alteration market-based instruments are the most preferable attack by authoritiess, houses and consumers likewise because it is flexible, makes houses and consumers account for the environmental impact of their actions, cost-efficient, gives inducement for technological inventions and emanation decrease and other benefits and caters for the different responses of assorted houses to the emanation decreases desired.

Market based- instruments are the most preferable attack towards extenuating clime alteration, keeping and bettering environmental quality as a whole.

Emissions trading ( tradable license ) strategy and Emissions revenue enhancement strategy

Two chief market-based instruments to be discussed in turn toing clime alteration and bettering environmental quality are emission trading strategies and emanation revenue enhancements. Market based as discussed earlier give inducements for emanations decreases

Emissions trading strategies besides known as tradable license strategies involve the scene of pollution bounds that should non be exceeded and the subsequent issue of licenses to cover those emanations and promote trade among houses, where houses that pollute in surplus of the set bound bargain from smaller 1s who pollute less than the set bounds and do non necessitate their extra licenses ( Missfeldt F. and Hauff J. , 2004 ) . With respects to climate alteration, CO2 emanation bounds are set for every sector and permits/ allowances auctioned or grandfathered[ 2 ], these licenses cover each house ‘s allowable emanations. Firms with emanation degrees higher than the allowable emanation degree are so compelled to cut down emanations by cut downing end products, puting in engineering or buying licenses from houses which have extra licenses and do non necessitate them. Therefore under an emanations trading strategy, the measure of emanations permitted is determined and monetary value left undetermined to be determined by the resulting market. Emission trading exists in assorted signifiers in covering with CO2 emanation decreases.

The basic implicit in rule of emanation revenue enhancement is the defiler pays rule where the houses pay for amendss to the environment.[ 3 ]Under emanations revenue enhancement strategies for clime alteration extenuation, regulative bureaus institutes a revenue enhancement which houses pay for every unit of CO2 that is emitted ( US EPA, 2008 ) . Price under emanation trading strategies is determined and measure of emanation left to the discretion of the houses being regulated. Depending on the cost involved, suspension[ 4 ]may be preferred when the cost is less than the emanation revenue enhancement and the emanation revenue enhancement preferred when it is lower than the abatement cost.

Chapter THREE

International Emissions Trading Scheme

Emission trading strategies have been shown to be a more effectual agencies of cut downing atmospheric pollution as evidenced in the successful execution of the Acid Rain Program in the United States, it is aimed at cut downing sulfur dioxide emanations and from the consequences it has succeeded in accomplishing its end. It hence is by far the universe ‘s largest and most successful emanation cap and allowance programme ( Tietenberg et al ) .

In turn toing the issue of climate extenuation, the Kyoto protocol makes agreement for decreases in GHG to be carried out through least cost steps such as emanation trading systems[ 5 ]among others. Emission trading under the Kyoto Protocol allows states with GHG emanation restrictions as in Annex B trade emanation permits amongst themselves, therefore an Annex B state or its subnational entities in a command to run into it emission marks can buy emanation licenses from another Annex B state or its subnational entities that have been able to cut down its emanations below its assigned bound ( Zhang, 2000 ) .

The demand for non-Annex I states with increasing GHGs such as India and China to besides perpetrate to emission decreases have been raised.

There are several GHG emanations merchandising strategies already up and running, whereas some are compulsory others are voluntary. Some of the compulsory strategies in operation now are ; The European Union Emissions Trading System in approximately 31 countires[ 6 ], the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in the USA, the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme, the Tokyo Metropolitan Trading Scheme in Tokyo Japan, and the New South Wales Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme in Australia ( Perdan and Azapagic, 2011 ) .

The EU Emission Trading Scheme is so far the popular and biggest compulsory GHG emanation trading strategies in operation presently. It serves as the basis for EU ‘s policy on clime alteration extenuation and key to cut downing GHG emanations through cost effectual agencies[ 7 ]. It is based on the “ cap and trade ” rule where emanation caps are set and houses receive or purchase allowances to cover their emanations. Where emanations are in surplus of the allowances, rigorous mulcts are imposed and when a company ‘s emanations are lower than its allowances, they may be kept to cover future emanations or sold to other companies that are breathing in surplus of their allowed degrees. This therefore creates an inducement for companies to cut down emanation degrees[ 8 ]where possible to avoid mulcts or do net income by selling fresh allowance. With the success chalked so far with the EU ETS and other regional trading strategies, more acceptance is given to the demand for a broad spread international execution.

In widening GHG emanations merchandising beyond the regional plans in operation presently to affect as many states worldwide as possible. The constitution of emanations restriction on the national graduated table is cardinal to easing the execution of an international emanations merchandising strategy. Other factors that have a bearing on the success of such a plan are ; what is the range of coverage, the signifiers that should be in implemented on international graduated table, supervising strategies.

Scope of Coverage

The range addresses the issues of which GHGs are to be covered under this “ international emanation trading strategy ” every bit good as which subdivisions of industry should be covered.

How complicated or otherwise an “ international emanations merchandising strategy ” will be, one manner or the other depends on the figure of GHGs that are covered under the strategy. Integrating all GHGs will do the execution of the strategy rather complicated. However if it is streamlining it to turn to the major GHGs of anthropogenetic beginning ( for case C dioxide ) , so it is likely to do execution and monitoring less complicated and enhance effectivity in execution every bit good.

Assorted parties have raised concerns about how much of a state ‘s emanations should be traded ( sold or bought ) ( Zhang, 2000 ) . Concerns have been raised about the demand to restrict the sum of emanations that can be traded in order to guarantee that the purpose of emanations merchandising supplementing national/domestic steps to cut down emanations is achieved. In inter-source emanations trading for case, houses may prefer to purchase licenses once they are cheaper than their fringy suspension cost. Thus they will non prosecute in any activities to cut back on their GHGs emanation, which would hold defeated the purpose of emanation trading supplementing attempts to cut back emanations internally.

A restriction nevertheless has the potency of interfering in a free market operation and increasing operating cost, give less inducement for investing in engineering and therefore get the better of the ultimate purpose of emanation decrease at the least cost possible. A possible solution to turn toing this concern is the demand for authoritiess of Annex I to guarantee that to guarantee that emanation decrease steps are undertaken on the national graduated table and that emanation merchandising merely supplements national attempts.

The issue about which subdivision of industry when controlled has the highest potency for emanation decreases is besides of much concern, whether the upstream or downstream industries when regulated will give the most consequences. When C intensive upstream industries are regulated with a cap and trade, it leads to decreases in emanations at that beginning nevertheless it serves as no inducement for terminal user consumers to cut back on their ingestion and subsequent waste of resources since they do non truly experience the impact of their ingestion behavior. On the downstream side, the costs incurred in run intoing emission marks are so passed on to consumers who so who feel the rise in monetary values and therefore adjust their ingestion consequently but it besides leaves the upstream unregulated. A combined execution of the two is a possible manner of covering with this issue such that upstream industries are regulated to cut down on GHG emanations and every bit good as the downstream.

What forms of international emanation trading strategies should be implemented?

Assorted signifiers of emanations merchandising strategies are being discussed for execution on international graduated table. These signifiers are fundamentally based on the parties involved and the agencies of trade. Three basic signifiers have been discussed in literature, viz. ;

Inter-governmental trading[ 9 ],

inter-source trading ( Zhang, 2000 ) ,

recognition trading ( Boom, 2001 )

Inter-governmental trading as stated in Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC fundamentally involves the trading of emanations licenses between Annex B states of the Protocol amongst themselves. States that are non able to run into their emanation decrease committednesss can buy emanation permits/allowances from states that have been able to cut their emanation below their marks that they are committed to. Here an emanation trading is between authoritiess and no formal blessing is needed as is the instance with Joint Implementation undertakings ( Zhang, 2000 ) .

An inter-source emanation trading is where authoritiess allocate to their subnational entities or houses their assigned sums of emanations decreases. These authoritiess so authorise the entities to merchandise on the international emanations market. This stimulates technological invention in cut downing emanations since houses or entities are free to transport out steps that will assist them run into their assigned bounds and will enable the houses benefit from their emanations trade. Increase in the figure of participants in the market, which is characteristic of inter-source trade will hike competition and in consequence make the market efficient.

Governments ‘ engagement is hence limited to definition of standards and regulations for regulating the houses involved in emanations trade ( Zhang, 2000 ) .

Another signifier of international emanations trading is recognition trading, this is involves trade between entities or houses but unlike in the inter-source trading where emanations permits is traded, here emanation recognition is traded ( Boom, 2001 ) . Entities that have undertaken undertakings to cut down GHG emanations can so sell the recognition to other houses that require credits to cover their emanation in order to run into their marks once the undertaking has been approved adjudged to consequence decrease in the GHG emanations.

Monitoring and disposal

The success of a widespread international execution of emanations merchandising system to extenuate clime alteration to a big extent depends on the mode in which monitoring and the ordinance are carried out. Emission degrees would hold to be monitored on a regular basis to guarantee that houses or entities adhere to put marks or bounds and those moving contrary to that directive are fined. As is the instance with the recognition trading signifier of emanations, undertakings should be monitored to verify that they are so extra, that is to state that sanctioned undertakings for which credits are to be traded are truly cut downing GHG emanations in the ambiance. If that is non the instance, so such undertakings would be no more be approved to take part in emanation trading.

How effectual will an International Emissions Trading be in extenuating clime alteration?

The execution of an international GHG emanation trading strategies which is good structured and has in topographic point a good -resourced monitoring and administrating bureau will travel a long manner together with attempts to cut down GHG emanations and assist extenuate climate alteration.

International execution of GHG emanations trading will forestall escape, where houses move out of markets with emanation restrictions. With the execution on a planetary graduated table so houses will hold no options out of emanations decreases therefore initiated steps to cut down emanations to run into fit marks or emanation licenses or allowances to cover up for their GHG emanations.

Firms will most instances be keen to put in engineering that better on production procedure to cutting down on emanations so as to cut down the cost involved in geting licenses to cover emanations and besides do some net incomes from the sale of fresh allowances.


There is the demand for the universe to take bases on extenuating clime alteration, the longer the hold in making something about it the less opportunity we have of change by reversaling this phenomenon. Therefore this paper examined the clime alteration phenomenon and the steps that able being put in topographic point to cover with as whole it. It nevertheless narrowed down to the feasibleness of an international execution of GHG emanations trading as a major manner of compelling houses, and states as a whole to cut down on emanations to salvage the planet. It became evident that for the success of any such plan, there was the demand for an appropriate design, execution, administrating and supervising to guarantee that all cardinal rules are adhered to.


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