Is Russia Looking for Greater Control in the Carbon Credit Market?
It seems that after using oil & gas as tool to punish the East European nations for their closeness to United States and showing Europe how dependent it is on its supplies, Russia is further trying to wield power by what seems is an intent to control a major share of the carbon credits market.
Russia has declared that it will not sell surplus carbon emission permits to other countries and will stockpile about $58 billion worth of the Kyoto carbon credits. It plans to use these surplus emission permits under the next climate treaty.
According to an official representing Russia at the climate talks in Poland, Russia has more emission permits than it requires but is not willing to sell them to any other country. The official argued that by stockpiling the surplus emission permits Russia is only securing its future economic growth.
Ukraine too has surplus carbon credits and it too intends to save them for use under the climate treaty that would succeed the Kyoto Protocol. But there is a difference between the two cases. Russia has the world’s largest gas reserves. By controlling a major portion of the carbon credits market Russia could indirectly control the control a major part of the global gas supplies.