In case anyone thought the whole accounting thing was a bit off – check out Deutsche Bank’s Carbon Counter. Their little slogan? “Know the Number.”
Bigger news might be the article in Science this week (thanks to Caroline for telling me about it) in which Searchinger et al detail “Fixing a Critical Climate Accounting Error” in the Kyoto Protocol, namely the failure to account for biomass emissions, for instance from deforestation, biofuels or land use change. Of course other accounting protocols, especially those related to REDD offsets for new carbon markets, do pay attention to these things – albeit across a heterogeneous procedural landscape. This is part and parcel of why carbon investors like Deutsche Bank will have a field day exploiting the intricate topographies of these investment-cum-emissions terrain. (Think derivatives.)
Personally I’m more interested in the rights scenarios implied in this landscape. But there’s no argument that a strong global agreement with any carbon trading provision will prove incredibly important to financial markets at least for the near-term.