Trading Gas

Polluters Fight Global Warming—and Government Regulation—With a New Market in Emissions Credits

Megan Garrison's class bought credits for carbon dioxide absorption from a reforestation project in Panama.
photo: Annie Chia
Megan Garrison's class bought credits for carbon dioxide absorption from a reforestation project in Panama.

TransAlta has not disclosed how much it is spending for those credits in this or other deals, but it seems likely that by beginning to trade before an official market exists, it is acquiring its potential pollution rights at bargain rates. As TransAlta's Vickers says, inevitability is a strong market force. "Some kind of greenhouse gas regulations are coming," Vickers says. "Whether that's the Kyoto accord or the son or daughter of the Kyoto accord, the smart thing to do is get prepared before you're hit."

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