BRUSSELS, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. envoy to the European Union says carbon trading as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions isn't effective without China and India taking part.
Ambassador C. Boyden Gray told The Independent that while Europe's emissions-trading system was struggling, the whole concept was unworkable without the participation of rising energy-consumers China and India.
Carbon emissions trading involves the sale or trading of rights to emit greenhouse gases. For instance, a country with a higher cap on emissions could trade some its rights to a country with a lower cap.
"If you could get a structure that would bring them in, it's a whole new ball game," Gray said. "You have to have them."
Gray's comments reflected the longstanding U.S. view that global warming is a worldwide issue that can't be solved by the United States and Europe sacrificing their economies while other nations continue polluting freely.
He also cast doubts on California's proposal to start its own carbon-trading system, saying it was likely illegal and was not any better than the global-warming strategies offered by the Bush administration.
The newspaper said some European environmental experts disagreed with Gray, saying he was "grasping at straws" to defend a failed U.S. policy.