Carbon trading is often seen as a mechanism to fund development of sustainable energy solutions, particularly in developing countries, but the effects of recession around the world are hitting the price, potentially cutting funds for some projects. The BBC reports:
It [the EU carbon trading scheme] seemed like a market solution to global warming in Europe, but initially many of these permits were given away for nothing.
Now, as recession bites, industries like steel, cement and glass may be polluting less, but only because they're producing less. So companies are desperately selling off the carbon credits they no longer need to bolster their faltering balance sheets. That has led to a big drop in the market value of carbon permits, and as the right to pollute becomes cheaper, there is less incentive for companies to stop polluting.