The future of Illinois cap-and-trade after Chicago Climate Exchange

December 7, 2010

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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(AP/Gene Blythe)
Members were able to trade carbon emissions as commodities with the Chicago Climate Exchange.

The recent announcement that the Chicago Climate Exchange will soon cease its carbon trading system saddened some environmentalists. At one point, members did a fair bit of business, voluntarily buying and selling carbon emissions, metric tons of  CO2, as commodities.

But when a proposed federal cap-and-trade program stalled in the Senate, the market for carbon died down as well.

Under cap-and-trade, companies and other entities face limits on how much greenhouse gases they can emit. If they go over their limit they can purchase carbon credits from businesses which pollute less. But cap-and-trade isn’t dead yet! There’s talk of a new market that would include over 10 U.S. states and some Canadian provinces as well.

"Eight Forty-Eight" got an update on North America’s shifting cap-and-trade market from Michael Hawthorne.  Hawthorne reports on the environment for the Chicago Tribune.