With the latest alarming reports of drastic economic downturns in Japan and Europe, perhaps we may take some comfort in the fact that carbon emissions are dropping sharply too, which may make it possible to achieve medium-term targets that would have been considered unreachable a year or two ago. According to reports by Point Carbon and New Energy Finance, the prices of carbon emission permits have dropped to the lowest levels seen in the second phase of the European trading scheme; total European emissions were down about 3 percent from the year before. Emissions from steel and cement production were down 9 percent, and those from electricity generation dropped 2 percent.
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