" "f we are to achieve a truly coordinatedaction on reducing greenhouse gasemissions, we must look to innovativeschemes, companies and countries totest the waters, sometimes suffering the setbacks andultimately taking us all forward.The turn of the last year has been a difficult time in thefight against climate change. The outcome of the highprofile UN meeting in Copenhagen in December wasdisappointing. In the months following we thenregressed to dealing with the frustrating and overblownresults of some sloppily expressed emails at theUniversity of East Anglia and a blithe assumption by theIPCC that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035. We always knew that we would not emerge fromCopenhagen with a full signed-and-sealed treaty withfirm commitments for specific emissions reductionsfrom everyone around the world. But I did hope that wemight emerge with rather more than we did, with atleast a set of in-principle commitments and sometarget dates and a map charting where we were goingto go from here. Instead, we have the CopenhagenAccord, drawn up by the United States, China, India,Brazil and South Africa, with some aspirations andagreements, and an earnest of intent to build on thisduring the coming year. And build on it we must.The worst response to Copenhagen would be to throwup our hands in horror and say nothing was achievedand therefore we should give up on the search forinternational commitments and agreement. Althoughthere has been what seems like a set-back recently, Iam still positive. We need to continue the drive for an internationaltreaty. And do so with renewed urgency. There aresome useful fundamentals in the Copenhagen Accord- the aim of a 2°C limit to temperature increase; theprinciple of north-south flows of aid and support inorder to ensure that the developing world can growmore sustainably than those of us who have largelycaused the problem up to now; and commitments tohelp combat deforestation. Should world leaders emerge from the UN ClimateChange Summit in Mexico in December with a signedinternational treaty to reduce greenhouse gasemissions, environmental regulators around the world will have an important role to play in ensuringwe start to implement any agreement with vigour andwith precision.The success of a global treaty hinges on the trust thatwe build and hold in the monitoring and regulation ofwhatever emissions reduction schemes emerge. Thecall to arms for the world's environmental protectionagencies is to ensure that legal requirements of theinternational community to cut their carbon output canbe backed up with an effective regime of regulationthat is measurable, reportable and verifiable.In a time of economic hardship, countries across theglobe will only deliver on their carbon reduction pledgeif they are confident that the system will not be open tomalpractice or poor administration. You only have tolook at the outcomes of weak regulation within thefinancial world to understand the impact it can have.Europe is already ahead of the curve in this regard withthe European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) having been introduced in 2005. While the scheme suffered some early teething problems due to the price of carbon diving sharply during thefirst three-year phase, the price has now stabilised,Main Picture:Environment Agencychairman Lord SmithDELIVERING ROBUST ANDTRANSPARENT REGULATIONOF CARBON REDUCTIONTHE UNITEDKINGDOMLAUNCHED THEWORLD'S FIRSTDOMESTIC EMISSIONS TRADING SCHEMEIN APRIL THIS YEAR042SUSTAINABLE BUSINESSIRT HON LORD CHRIS SMITH, CHAIRMAN, ENVIRONMENT AGENCY?
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