Following on this weekend’s earlier point-by-point evaluation of the carbon-emissions-trading system Canada’s federal Conservatives are proposing (verdict: D-plus to C-minus), comes a remark from the head of the Montreal securities exchange saying he doesn’t think it’s going to amount to much.
The Montreal Exchange did a deal last fall with the Chicago Climate Exchange to experiment with a Canadian version — if there’s going to be trading of greenhouse-gas emissions credits in Canada, the Montreal Exchange is out in front in the race to be the standard place where the trading happens (the Toronto Stock Exchange is interested, too). But Bloomberg News doesn’t make the Montreal Exchange’s chief executive Luc Bertrand sound very excited:
“The targets are a little weak,” Bertrand told reporters today after a speech in Montreal. “If a polluter only has a small amount to pay, the incentive is smaller for them to be proactive and invest in greenhouse-gas emissions,” he said, “so it’s not one of the best conditions to create liquidity.”
The combination of intensity-based targets and a low charge to bail out of the system (in Canada’s case, credits would be available for contributions to a technology fund of $15 to $20 per tonne-equivalent of CO2 — it gets a little more stringent and expensive over time, but not much) means there’s not a lot of money to be made, in other words, so Bertrand isn’t expecting a very active market.
And that means not a lot of investment in cutting emissions to generate those credits.