Markets, Politics and Emissions Trading

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A growing market and changing political landscape could spur more demand for emissions traders, bankers and analysts.

The market for emissions trading this year could end up more than doubling to $70 billion from 2006's $30 billion level, further increasing demand for traders who buy and sell emissions credits, bankers who source and negotiate deals for emission-reduction project, and policy analysts who keep tabs on national and international regulations covering emissions and climate change. There's even speculation the U.S. may become more active in the market.

At the U.N. sponsored climate talks in Indonesia, German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Bloomberg News he expects the U.S. to drop its opposition to greenhouse-gas trading because the market could benefit American financial firms. "Whatever politicians want to do, one thing is un-American - not to participate in a financial market,'' Gabriel said. "The financial sector in the U.S. sees that the carbon market is the finest market.'"

Despite the Bush administration's opposition to setting emissions-reductions targets, Congress is acting on legislation that would mandate emissions cuts and - as former vice president and one-time presidential candidate Al Gore pointed out at the conference - the next U.S. president takes office in about 13 months.

"I must tell you candidly that I cannot promise that the person who is elected will have the position I expect they will have, but I can tell you I believe it is quite likely," CBS News quoted Gore as saying.

Rich Rosenzweig, former chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Energy and now chief operating officer of Natsource LLC - a New York firm that bills itself as an "environmental asset management" company - told Bloomberg he expects U.S. companies will be able to use U.N. emission credits. "You will see a lot less constraints on the markets,'' he said.

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