Could - and Should - Scotland Sell Carbon Credits in International Markets?

Cowie, Lewis and Roberts, Jen (2022) Could - and Should - Scotland Sell Carbon Credits in International Markets? University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

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Scotland could remove carbon emission in excess of its output within the next three decades (CCC, 2020a). This work investigated the conditions through which Scotland can meet and exceed its emissions targets and potentially engage in the trade of carbon credits internationally. Key findings are: Without significant deployment of negative emission technologies (NETs) , Scotland will only be able to achieve net zero by 2045 if emission reduction policies and their effects follow highly optimistic modelling. By 2050 however, Scotland may be able to become net negative without the deployment of NETs under a slightly wider range of policy options. Experts interviewed highlighted influencing factors such as: the Scottish Government's desire to pursue NET deployment at scale; the potential to pursue the trade of carbon credits internationally; and the potential for Scotland's engagement in carbon trading to bolster climate ambition internationally. They also highlighted that Scotland's position on trading should be influenced by issues surrounding the environmental credibility of carbon credits and the risk of NETs and carbon credits acting as a moral hazard- reducing the drive towards wider de-carbonisation rather than bolstering ambition.


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