Keywords: global warming, energy measure, CO2 credit, emission trading, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, energy credit, carbon credit, carbon dioxide
The core of the global warming problem: energy
From the thermodynamic point of view, the global warming problem is an 'energy balance' problem. The heat (energy) accumulation in the earth and its atmosphere is the cause of the global warming. This accumulation is mainly due to the imbalance of (solar) energy reaching and the energy leaving the earth, caused by 'greenhouse effect' in which the CO2 and other greenhouse gases play a critical role; so that balance of the energy entering and leaving the earth should be the key to solve the problem. Currently in the battle of tackling the global warming, we mainly focus on the development of CO2-related measures, i.e., emission reduction, CO2 sequestration, and CO2 recycle technologies. It is right in technical aspect, because they are attempting thinner the CO2 'blanket' around the earth. However, 'Energy' that is the core of the problem has been overlooked, at least in management/policy aspect. This paper is proposing an 'Energy Credit' i.e., the energy measure concept as an alternative to the 'CO2 credit' that is currently in place in the proposed emission trading scheme. The proposed energy credit concept has the advantages such as covering broad activities related to the global warming and not just direct emissions. Three examples are given in the paper to demonstrate the concept of the energy measure and its advantages over the CO2 credit concept.