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US stalemate hits carbon markets

Globally, carbon trading is in the doldrums, driven down by the collapse of a US initiative, writes Ian Lewis

THE FAILURE of US climate-change measures to pass through Congress this year leaves the near-term prospects for creation of a global carbon market in doubt, despite efforts elsewhere in the world. The EU already has a functioning emissions-trading system (ETS), but until the US moves towards establishing its own cap-and-trade mechanism, there seems little hope of a global market materialising. That is partly because as the world's largest economy the US is a trendsetter, but also because an active US ETS would provide an incentive for countries whose firms do business in or with the country to sign up for cap-and-trade if they want access to its market. "A patchwork of smaller economies are

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