16 Dec 2009 At COP-15: Mind the Gum
Copenhagen – On the heels of the 90s “tech bubble” and recent “mortgage bubble,” participants at the U.N. COP 15 meeting in Copenhagen are being warned by the Washington D.C.-based National Center for Public Policy Research not to create a new “carbon bubble” based on an artificial market in carbon credits.
To highlight this threat to financial stability, the National Center for Public Policy Research is distributing bubble gum balls bearing the warning: “Carbon Credit Gum: World’s Biggest Bubble” in Copenhagen.
“This colorful candy is meant to elicit laughter, but the joke warns of grave implications,” said Amy Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research. “If our government creates an allegedly-tradable product in carbon allowances it will be creating an artificial market. What will happen when the carbon bubble bursts?”
“Some well-connected financiers and prominent former politicians expect make a fortune if an artificial carbon market is created in the U.S.,” added David A. Ridenour, vice president of the National Center. “But as any environmental benefit would be negligible and carbon caps would cause prices to rise throughout the economy, it’s a bad idea.”
“If bankers could not manage risk with real estate and mortgages – topics that they should understand – what makes them think they can manage risk associated with climate science?” asked Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project. “With the housing crisis bankers traded toxic securities, with cap-and-trade it’s going to be trading toxic carbon credits.”
“Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the value of carbon dioxide is a result of a government decree,” added Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli. “Unlike tangible commodities, you can’t build, wear or eat carbon dioxide. In contrast to gold, silver, copper, oil, or even pork bellies and coffee, carbon dioxide has no intrinsic value,”
David Ridenour, Tom Borelli and Deneen Borelli are in Copenhagen and have been admitted to the conference as NGO delegates.
Follow the National Center for Public Policy Research’s coverage of COP-15 events at http://www.nationalcenter.org/labels/Climate.html in our blog.