Carbon trading market expands to Chicago, Mexico City

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CHICAGO – The city of Chicago will become the first American municipality to commit to participate in the development of a carbon emissions trading system.

At the same time, Mexico City officials also announced their intention to join in the carbon trading initiative.

The city of Chicago and Mexico City are joining the Chicago Climate Exchange, a voluntary market for trading emissions of greenhouse gases which are linked to global warming.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley will become honorary chairman of the exchange, now in its design phase.

Daley announced the city’s commitment to the alliance in outlining a 13-point energy plan for Chicago. Daley spoke at a meeting of corporate leaders, under the auspices of The CEO Coalition, discussing the future of energy and clean air in middle America.

Innovation. “For years our financial exchanges have been a vital part of the local and national economy,” said Daley. “This is a good example of the kind of innovation that will help us solve our energy and environmental problems.”

Grupo IMSA of Mexico, an aluminum products manufacturer, announced its intent to participate in the design phase of the CCX, joining 40 other entities that have made a similar commitment.

The coalition is developing a market based mechanism for limiting emissions through a voluntary cap. The CCX would enable companies to get credit for such voluntary reductions and to buy and sell credits in order to find the most cost effective way of achieving reductions.

Clouds formed from steam released by industrial plants may trap heat from the Sun close to Earth.

The goal. The goal is to reduce participants’ greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent below 1999 levels over five years, a limit roughly in line with the limits adopted under the Kyoto Protocol.

After years of discussion about the potential for trading carbon emissions, the Chicago Climate Exchange will first test the concept on a regional scale, and then expand to cover the rest of the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

The Midwest is a promising location for starting the market, according to Sandor, because of its nearly one-fifth share of the U.S. economy and greenhouse gas emissions, its mix of manufacturing, transport, energy, agriculture and forestry sectors, and its extensive international linkages.

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