Climate debt as a technology development booster
A new model for emissions trading could turn out to be an effective lever in the fight against global warming. Companies pay interest on carbon dioxide budgets that are exceeded.
In the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement, almost 200 countries set themselves the goal of limiting global warming to 2 or better 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Neither one nor the other target can be achieved by reducing CO2 emissions alone - carbon dioxide must also be removed from the atmosphere.
An international team led by climate economist Johannes Bednar from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg (Austria) has now investigated which political mechanisms support the development and implementation of the necessary technologies. In the journal "Nature" it proposes a special emissions trading system: Depending on the limit for global warming, permits are issued for the emission of greenhouse gases. If a company exceeds its quota, it undertakes to eliminate the additional amount emitted later. According to the research group, emitters should pay for the temporary "storage" of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
According to their models, this measure will reduce CO2 emissions earlier, and technologies to reduce greenhouse gases will be used more quickly…