Wird der Emissionshandel zu Protektionismus führen?

CAMBRIDGE ­– Es besteht die ernsthafte Gefahr, dass die internationale Einführung des Systems von Emissionsobergrenzen und dem Handel mit Emissionsrechten (Cap and Trade) zur Beschränkung von Kohlendioxidemissionen protektionistische Maßnahmen mit sich bringen wird. Obwohl eigentlich zur Verringerung langfristiger ökologischer Schäden gedacht, könnten diese Cap-and-Trade-Strategien kurzfristig zu bedeutendem ökonomischen Schaden führen, der  auch weiter reichende Folgen für die Zukunft haben könnte.

Wissenschaftliche Forschungsergebnisse scheinen darauf hinzudeuten, dass die Anhäufung von CO2 in der Atmosphäre durch die Verbrennung fossiler Brennstoffe (Kohle, Öl und Erdgas) – hauptsächlich in der Stromerzeugung, im Transportwesen  und bei verschiedenen industriellen Verfahren – zur stufenweisen globalen Erwärmung beiträgt, die wiederum langfristige negative Effekte auf die Lebensbedingungen weltweit hat. Aus diesem Grund werden sich Vertreter aus über 150 Ländern im Dezember in Kopenhagen einfinden, um über Methoden zur Reduktion des CO2-Ausstoßes zu diskutieren.

Ein häufig vorgebrachter Vorschlag ist die Einführung einer Steuer auf alle CO2-Emissionen. Bezahlt würde diese Steuer von Betrieben, die im Verlauf des Produktionsprozesses CO2 ausstoßen oder Produkte wie etwa Benzin verkaufen, die im Gebrauch zu CO2-Emissionen führen. Eine derartige Steuer würde Elektrizitätsunternehmen und Industriebetriebe motivieren, zur Verringerung der CO2-Emissionen andere Methoden anzuwenden, wenn die Kosten dafür geringer sind, als die Steuern, die andernfalls bezahlt werden müssten.

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