Aspen joins climate exchange | AspenTimes.com

Aspen joins climate exchange

Local governments from around the world convened earlier this week at the Fourth Municipal Leaders Summit on Climate Change in Montreal. Announced at one of the side events was the city of Aspen’s recent decision to join the Chicago Climate Exchange.

The Aspen City Council extended its commitment to reduce global warming pollution recently by unanimously voting to join the voluntary, legally binding carbon trading program. It is city government operations that are affected by the membership. Other members include IBM, DuPont, Rocky Mountain Institute, the Aspen Skiing Co. and Ford Motor Co., as well as the cities of Chicago, Oakland and Boulder, and the state of New Mexico.

The exchange sets a legally binding commitment to reducing emissions and applies the cap-and-trade principle to the climate change problem through the trading of emissions allowances. Members commit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with climate change and global warming by 4 percent by 2006 from a 1998-2001 baseline.

Members who reduce beyond the goal may sell emission allowances on the exchange. Members who do not meet the reduction goal must buy allowances on the exchange to come into compliance.