To Green or Not to Green? Market-driven approaches cut through regulatory uncertainty.


For companies wanting to know whether, when and how to incorporate regulation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into their business planning, there seems to be as much uncertainty in the air as anything else. Businesses do not have a clear idea of the form that climate policy may take or what will be required, and it is not even certain whether such laws are inevitable. Proposed federal legislation, some versions of which included a market-based system for trading emissions allowances, has been on and off the table several times already, and its ultimate fate may hinge on the outcome of the November elections.

As the federal legislation has seesawed into limbo, industries in the state of Washington also have faced the potential of a regional cap-and-trade program that is proposed to start in 2012 under the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). Due, however, to the weak economy, Whether it is because of, or despite, inaction at the federal and state levels, many businesses are no longer waiting for direction.

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