- Global/International Business
PURPOSE: Even during these tough economic times the current administration has proposed to revive the US “Cap and Trade” initiative and to see it through to passage. Many in the public are not aware that the idea of cap and trade is not new as similar programs have been successfully used in the US and other countries to “wind down” environmentally damaging emissions. The aim of this paper is to explain cap and trade and to project what form current proposals could take. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: This paper explains cap and trade and goes on to project what form current proposals could take. It also examines the alternatives and the arguments both for and against cap and trade. Projected costs and benefits are examined, along with some examination of the actual mechanics by which the system is expected to operate. FINDINGS: The current US mood is that proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be expensive and burdensome to businesses and consumers. In fact, this is what is preventing them from going forward. The consensus is now growing that in order to achieve the goals of cap and trade, proposals will have to be cost effective, expanded internationally, and include India, China and other emerging manufacturing economies. If this can be done, it appears that cap and trade will continue to be part of the landscape of US emission reductions, along with the use of alternative and other renewable energy resources. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: The paper examines costs and benefits of cap and trade, along with some examination of the actual mechanics by which the system is expected to operate.