The carbon offset market is growing, spurred by businesses and consumers who want to lessen their carbon footprint by investing in ventures like hydroelectric power or forest regeneration. Two experts on carbon credits took your questions.
How many carbon credit markets are there in the U.S.? In the world? What is the annual volume (in dollars) of trade in these markets? Is there a Web site with this sort of information?
Dan Kammen responds:
There are a number of carbon markets, with the European Trading System (ETS), and the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the most well-known. Additional markets are likely to develop, and some cities are even considering their own local markets.
My laboratory, the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (http://rael.berkeley.edu) at the University of California, Berkeley, also produces publications, reports, and media information.
Caitlin Sparks responds:
Because the U.S. did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol, we participate only in the voluntary carbon market. The two other large carbon markets are the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) markets -- these are emissions schemes of the Kyoto Protocol, the international agreement regulated by the United Nations. In addition, there is the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), the largest emissions trading scheme in the world.