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Almost everyone now acknowledges that the first phase of the system - running from 2005 to 2007 - has been a failure: more permits to pollute have been printed than there is pollution. The price of carbon has collapsed to almost zero, creating no incentive to reduce pollution. As a result, UK firms covered by the scheme increased their emissions by 3.6% in the first year alone. Across the EU, emissions from installations covered by the ETS rose by just under 1%.
It was hoped that changes...