International Aid Groups Call for "Robust Permit Auctions" to Support Adaptation

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 20 Nov 2007 23:49:00 GMT

In a letter to the heads of the Senate EPW and Foreign Relations committees (Boxer, Inhofe, Biden, and Lugar), a large group of development, faith-based, and environmental (including FoE, Greenpeace, UCS, and NWF) organizations write:
We urge you to take action to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States that are contributing to these impacts on impoverished countries, while also putting in place substantial assistance for those countries to adapt to the widespread and serious consequences of climate change. In particular, a significant proportion of any revenue generated from climate policies, such as auctions of emission permits, should be directed to the adaptation needs of poor people and impoverished countries. To maximize those resources, policies to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions should ensure that the responsibility to pay for emissions reductions and adaptation costs are borne equitably by those who are most responsible for those emissions, such as through robust permit auctions.

The present version of Lieberman-Warner allocates 5% of auction revenues to a Climate Change and National Security Fund “to enhance the national security of the United States” and “assist in avoiding the politically destabilizing impacts of climate change in volatile regions of the world.” The August draft outline allocated 10% of auction revenues to international aid; the initial draft legislation cut those revenues to 5% and allocated 3% of emissions allowances to fighting tropical deforestation; in subcommittee markup a Barrasso amendment was adopted to instead allocate those emissions allowances to states.

EE News reports:
Under the Lieberman-Warner legislation, an auction could create tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars per year in new revenue depending on how much industry pays on the market for greenhouse gas credits. If the credits sold for $10 per ton of carbon dioxide, a 10 percent slice for international adaptation would equal $1 billion.

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) supports including international assistance for adaptation as part of the climate bill. But a Boxer aide said today that no decision has been made on changes in the distribution of the Lieberman-Warner bill’s auction revenue.


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