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Joseph R. Mason

While some have bemoaned CO2 markets’ performance due to low prices – that is, too low to deter emissions – a potentially bigger threat is that such markets develop to provide binding constraints arising not from market pricing but from non-fundamental factors like fraud and rent-seeking. Investor fraud, corporate fraud, and counterfeiting and theft are already well-known to these markets, with little in the way of specific oversight and protection. If we are to expect meaningful market development, it makes sense to insulate such markets rent-seeking, generally, including various forms of fraud, counterfeiting, and permit theft that have already manifested in the sector. Only by restraining such influences can we provide a smooth-functioning CO2 market that can be the basis of economic growth, without exposing the broader economy to the potential for commodity market panics and crashes.