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World Bank buys pollution rights from tiny Indian village for $645?

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posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 04:26 AM
Late last year, officials at the World Bank decided it was time to practice what they had been preaching about reducing carbon emissions.
Well, sort of.
Some environmentally-friendly types at the international finance agency calculated the bank spewed 147 tons of carbon into the atmosphere when it flew in attendees for a conference in Washington in October 2003.
Looking to set a cheap and practical example on the worldwide issue of carbon emissions, the Washington, D.C.-based organization went halfway around the world to a tiny village located in the remote jungles of southern India.
In the ironically named village of Powerguda, the villagers had recently begun to collect and sell to a local mill the seeds of a native tree called the Pongamia pinnata. The seeds produce a natural oil that can be used as an alternative to diesel fuel. And unlike diesel and other fossil fuels, pongamia oil produces little carbon emissions when burned.
By providing the raw material for an alternative to relatively dirty diesel, Powerguda was effectively reducing the overall carbon load in the atmosphere—at least in the eyes of the World Bank. And it was this theoretical tiny reduction in worldwide carbon emissions that the Bank decided to buy to offset the carbon emissions resulting from its conference.
The price tag to the World Bank: $645. For that the bank got the village's entire potential carbon emission savings for the next 10 years.
The World Bank and others believe the Powerguda deal—while tiny and relatively insignificant—could help provide a new blueprint for governments and businesses trying to comply with the spirit of the Kyoto Protocol, the controversial manifesto meant to address greenhouse gas emissions on a worldwide basis. The treaty goes into effect early next year, after being approved this month by Russia.

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posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 05:43 AM
horus go to sleep,you have been at this for 12straight hours...your' srtaing 2lossoze it...........;(§č

posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 05:16 PM
If the world bank pays me, I will stop farting in public

posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 05:22 PM
You have a very valid point Horus. Being able to buy "pollution points" defeats the object of caring for the environment, it is very worrying.

The biggest polluters can carry on polluting the world by using such methods. Its a very scary situation.

posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 09:05 AM

You guys are missing the points behind the concept of trading pollution points. Let's use the following example:

Assume my city decides that all the busses will be powered by fuel cells. Let's say this results in 100 tons less CO2 emmisions. This is a good thing we would all agree. Now the problem is that the reduction costs the city money. Where is the incentive (at the end of the day, we can all talk about how we care for the environment, but I doubt any of you would pay $5 to ride a bus 4 city blocks).

Now assume they can sell the rights to the 100 ton reduction to someone for a fee that offsets the cost of the investment. Suddenly it becomes viable.

The basic idea here is that:
1) There are some areas of the world/industries where it would be impossible to eliminate emissions with current technology.
2) There are lots of areas of the world/industries where emissions can be redcuced.
3) Allowing the trading of polition rights allows those industries that *cannot* (note I said cannot, and not will not) reduce emissions to still effect a reduction in emissions by incenting those that can reduce emissions to do so on their behalf (buying the rights, aka subsiding the reduction)


PS: Please note, these numbers are all entirely made up, but serve to demonstrate the point.

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