Post image for Kyoto Credits: Stratospheric Unintended Consequences

For years, I’ve seen stories about Asian and South American companies that reap windfalls under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). By inexpensively destroying a waste gas (HFC-23) with a high global warming potential (11,700 times that of carbon dioxide), the developing country companies receive boatloads of CDM credits they can then sell for big bucks to European and Japanese firms, who can use the credits to meet their Kyoto obligations in lieu of reducing their CO2 emissions.

Today, the New York Times provides an in-depth analysis of the unintended consequences, which include not only money-for-nothing wealth transfers totaling billions of dollars, but also increased production of a gas that depletes the stratospheric ozone layer. From the Times article:  [click to continue…]