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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2000 / 23_i_want_your


23 november 2000

i want your credits!

US Wrecking Talks With $1 a Carbon Tonne Plan

Friends of the Earth today slammed the United States for its negotiating position at the Hague talks, which threatens the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol. FOE has costed the US proposals in terms of cost per tonne of carbon to meet Kyoto targets. We believe that:

  • If all sinks are included without limits of any kind, the US could achieve its Kyoto targets at a cost of less than $1 a tonne of carbon. The mid-range estimate is about $6 a tonne of carbon.

  • If all sinks are included in Articles 3.3 and 3.4 of the Kyoto protocol but not in the Clean Development Mechanism, the cost of achieving Kyoto targets would be about $27 a tonne of carbon.
  • If all sinks are excluded (except for Article 3.7: the so-called "fix for Australia") the cost would be about $31 a tonne of carbon.

"These figures demonstrate why the US is aggressively pushing sinks. They provide cheap carbon credits for business as usual actions that avoid real and permanent reductions in domestic fossil fuel emissions", said Jon Sohn of Friends of the Earth US.

[Assumptions: The costs are the average world price per tonne of carbon in the commitment period 2008 -2012. We have relied on a MIT/EPPA based model using August 1st submission data from parties. We assume hot air trading and no cap on use of mechanisms, and a $0 price for ""business as usual"sinks, with all CDM projects and JI projects additional - i.e. they would not otherwise have happened]

Friends of the Earth has listed the US proposals at the Hague that are undermining environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol. These include:

  • Exploiting loopholes to avoid real changes in domestic energy and transport policy. For example the U.S. wants to count land use and forestry policy in ways that will permit increases in dirty fossil fuel emissions.

  • Insisting on no limit in the use of the flexibility mechanisms. The U.S. wants no limit on the amount of carbon credits that it may buy, instead of cutting emissions at the source of the problem in the USA.
  • Favouring fossil fuel technologies in the flexibility mechanisms over renewable and energy efficiency technologies. The U.S. has failed to champion fast track policies to support clean, environmentally sustainable technologies like solar and wind.

Jon Sohn added:
"While the US has championed the cause of free markets, free trade rules and rampant globalization, it is failing to match growth in the economy with sufficient safeguards to protect the world environment. The effect of this policy is the creation of damaging but powerful institutions like the World Trade Organization and weak and ineffective international agreements to protect the environment. The Clinton Administration needs to turn this ship around and save the Kyoto Protocol in the next three days."

For further infomation please contact:
FOE US: Jon Sohn 0031 6 15 57 09 40
Press Officer: Ian Willmore 0044 7887 641344 (FOEI)



Friends of the Earth International Secretariat: P.O. Box 19199, 1000 GD Amsterdam, The Netherlands Tel.: +31-20-6221369 Fax:+31-20-6392181 E-mail:
Last updated 23 November 2000




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