I have been meaning to write something about emissions trading and the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme for a while. Instead here is a video by Annie Leonard which describes emissions trading in a fairly simple way.
Leonard's main criticisms are:
1) emission permits will be given away free to emitters, in effect, rewarding them for causing the problem. That will certainly be the case in New Zealand, where billions of $NZ worth of permits will be allocated to agriculture and trade exposed and emissions intensive industries over an 80-year period.
2) emission offsets (carbon offsets) will be fraudulently obtained, thus undermining the cap on emissions
3) caps on emissions are essential to a cap and trade scheme, but there are no internationally agreed caps.
4) emissions trading is a distraction from the real measures to decarbonise economies, and as such it encourages 'business as usual',
Kate Sheppard, writing on the Mother Jones website, says that Leonard grossly simplifies emissions trading. I am not so sure.