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EU’s Emissions Trading System Needs More Oversight to Improve Carbon Market

Posted on 03 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Commission should consider some changes to the bloc’s emissions trading system to further improve the working of the carbon market and increase investor confidence, the European Court of Auditors said on Thursday.
In a report on the functioning of the carbon market as a financial exchange, the European Union’s Luxembourg-based independent auditors urge the bloc’s executive arm and national governments to improve monitoring of cross-border sales of emissions allowances and come up with a common legal definition………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s Carbon Prices Collapse

Posted on 03 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Beijing has made a lot of headlines recently for its eco-friendly target setting, and central to many of these plans has been the implementation of regional carbon markets, and eventually the creation of a national system. So far things are not going exactly according to plan. Prices in five of China’s carbon markets have fallen sharply. Permits in the biggest pilot exchange in Guangdong have dropped 73 percent.
Regulatory uncertainty and a lack of transparency have left trade on China’s seven pilot carbon exchanges in the doldrums, which could undermine efforts to cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. China told the United Nations on Tuesday it would cap its emissions by 2030, and promised to cut carbon intensity - the amount produced per unit of economic growth - by 60-65 percent from 2005 levels by then as well………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Chinese carbon market doldrums may undermine climate efforts

Posted on 02 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Regulatory uncertainty and a lack of transparency have left trade on China’s seven pilot carbon exchanges in the doldrums, which could undermine efforts to cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. China told the United Nations on Tuesday it would cap its emissions by 2030, and promised to cut carbon intensity - the amount produced per unit of economic growth - by 60-65 percent from 2005 levels by then as well.
China told the U.N. it would build on the pilot regional schemes to help make the cuts, and “steadily implement a nationwide carbon emissions trading system”. The national scheme should be ready by the end of next year or early 2017, but traders said the transition to a national system is already causing problems………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU Eyes Setting Aside Carbon Permits for Production Increases

Posted on 02 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Commission plans to propose earmarking a quota of permits in its carbon market after 2020 for companies entering the system and for potential production increases, according to a draft law.
The commission will also design rules to start two new funds to encourage a shift to a low-emission economy under the planned review of the world’s biggest greenhouse-gas market. The European Union’s regulatory arm plans to publish the draft law, known as the review of the EU emission trading system, on July 15………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A global history of emissions reduction schemes

Posted on 02 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In December, representatives from almost 200 countries will meet in Paris to sign a new global climate treaty. What can governments do to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions? For governments, carbon emissions reduction options fit into three broad categories. The first is the provision of direct subsidies or tax deductions for industries that move to a low carbon profile.
The second is through regulation—legislating standards for vehicle fuel efficiency, for example. The third area involves putting a price on carbon through the establishment of market-based mechanisms. In recent decades, many governments have gone for some combination of all three………………………………………..Full Article: Source

South Korea confirms plan for 37 per cent carbon cuts

Posted on 01 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Asian powerhouse to submit higher reductions than expected today as contribution to global emissions reduction deal. South Korea has confirmed plans to cut emissions 37 per cent against a business as usual baseline, up from the 15 to 30 per cent reduction it had initially proposed.
The target is set to be submitted to the UN today, officially confirming the country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) that it is prepared to sign up to as part of a new global emissions reduction deal that is set to be agreed at the Paris conference in December………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China to cap rising emissions by 2030 in boost to Paris deal

Posted on 01 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In a big leap towards ensuring a climate deal in Paris this winter, the world’s biggest carbon dioxide emitter China on Tuesday submitted a comprehensive action plan to check its rising carbon flow into atmosphere including peaking of its emissions by 2030.
Apart from peaking year, China in its plan to the United Nations also said that it will lower its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65% from the 2005 levels and will increase share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption by around 20% by 2030………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The pope’s ecological vow

Posted on 30 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the days just before its publication, those involved in drafting the pope’s controversial eco-encyclical Laudato Si’ were much exercised about how it would be received by conservative critics. But Pope Francis, Vatican insiders tell me, was unfazed. He remains so in the face of the onslaught of criticism that has, indeed, ensued.
The pope’s acceptance that global warming is almost certainly man-made has irked the vocal minority with more skeptical views. They say Francis has overlooked the ability of technology to provide solutions to climate change. They’ve upbraided him for ignoring the role of free markets in lifting millions out of poverty. They’ve criticized his dismissal of birth control as the answer to an overcrowded planet………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China ready to go further on climate change: sources

Posted on 30 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China appears ready to set a more ambitious climate change pledge by moving up the timeline for peaking its carbon emissions and opening the possibility of sending money to other countries to take action, according to EU sources close to the negotiations. The declaration is expected no later than Tuesday, following parallel summits with China and the EU in Brussels, and in New York with United Nations members.
This follows a round of negotiations in New York over the weekend between China, the EU, the United States, South Africa, Brazil and the UN. The European Commission’s climate action and energy chief, Miguel Arias Cañete, flew to New York on Friday to negotiate directly with Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative for climate change, where he urged Beijing to submit its planned pledge for the COP21 summit in December, known as the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), on Monday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australian climate policy paralysis has to end, business roundtable says

Posted on 29 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An unprecedented alliance of business, welfare and environmental groups and trade unions is demanding an end to Australia’s decade of political paralysis and division on climate policy, insisting the Abbott government make credible emission reduction commitments and the major parties agree on how the pledges should be implemented.
In an attempt to reset the bitter political debate on climate policy, the powerful line-up of interest groups has reached a historic agreement on “principles” that should guide Australia’s climate policy. The principles do not explicitly mention the Abbott government’s Direct Action climate plan or the former Labor government’s emissions trading scheme, but they include objectives Direct Action fails to meet in its current form – including being “internationally linked”, being “capable of achieving deep reductions” and achieving greenhouse reductions “across all sections of the economy”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Royal Dutch Shell bids to develop carbon capture project

Posted on 29 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A windswept North Sea gas platform, manned by half a dozen maintenance workers, seems an unlikely place to embark on a low-carbon revolution. But Royal Dutch Shell’s disused Goldeneye, connected by a 100km pipeline to the Scottish coast, could soon get a fresh lease of life, pumping millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into depleted reservoirs deep below the seabed.
The energy giant is competing for a £1bn pot of money from the UK government to develop what would be the world’s first carbon capture and storage (CCS) project involving a gas-fired power station at Peterhead, near Aberdeen………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China upbeat on prospects for national carbon market

Posted on 26 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Despite problems faced by regional pilot schemes, authorities say unified market could launch by late 2016. Nearly two years after the launch of China’s pilot-scheme regional carbon markets, authorities are hopeful a national market can be developed as early as next year, despite challenges facing the industry.
Technical preparations were under way for the market, which would be similar to the EU Emissions Trading System (EUETS), said Wang Shu, a climate change official with the National Development and Reform Commission. “We hope to wrap up the preparation work … and launch a unified carbon trade market in late 2016 or early 2017,” he told a conference in Shenzhen last week, mainland media reported………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Everything You Should Know about Taxing Carbon

Posted on 26 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Climate change is hot. From the pope’s encyclical to the upcoming United Nations conference in Paris, leaders are debating how to slow and eventually stop the warming of our planet. We economists think we have an answer: put a price on carbon dioxide and the other gases driving climate change. When emissions are free, businesses, consumers, and governments pollute without thinking. But put a price on that pollution and watch how clean they become.
That’s the theory. And it’s a good one. But translating it from the economist’s whiteboard to reality is challenging. A carbon price that works well in principle may stumble in practice. A real carbon price will inevitably fall short of the theoretical ideal. Practical design challenges thus deserve close attention………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU ministers seek ambitious, binding deal at Paris climate talks

Posted on 26 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

European Union ministers are seeking an ambitious, durable and legally binding deal to curb global warming, enforced through five-yearly reviews, a draft of their position statement for U.N. climate talks shows.
EU environment ministers meet on Sept. 18 in Brussels to iron out their joint position ahead of the U.N. talks in Paris in December. Diplomats have already drawn up a draft text. The Paris climate agreement must be “legally binding in order to enshrine the strongest expression of political will and provide predictability and durability”, says the EU ministers’ draft seen by Reuters………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dutch government ordered to speed up greenhouse gas cuts

Posted on 25 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A district court ordered the Dutch government on Wednesday to cut greenhouse gas emissions faster than currently planned in a rare use of the legal system to curb global warming. A judge in The Hague said the state must “ensure that the Dutch emissions in the year 2020 will be at least 25 percent lower than those in 1990″ as the Netherlands’ fair share to avert more heat waves, floods and rising sea levels.
Based on current government policy, the Netherlands will achieve a reduction of 17 percent at most in 2020, which is below a norm of 25-40 percent for developed countries, a summary of the ruling said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Climate Change Calls for Science, Not Hope

Posted on 25 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Is the American approach to combating climate change going off the rails? Last year, President Obama set a goal of reducing carbon emissions by as much as 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025, only 10 years from now. Now, environmental experts are suggesting that some parts of the strategy are, at best, a waste of money and time. At worst, they are setting the United States in the wrong direction entirely.
That is the view of some of the world’s top environmental organizations, including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club. On Tuesday, they argued in a letter to the White House that allowing the burning of biomass to help reduce consumption of fossil fuels in the nation’s power plants, as proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, would violate the Clean Air Act………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Even the pope gets it – carbon markets won’t fix the climate

Posted on 24 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment has quickly made him one of the world’s most significant figures in the climate debate. His message was notable not just for its acceptance of mainstream climate science but also for its outright rejection of market logic.
Nowhere is this more clear than when he addresses the various emissions trading and carbon offsetting schemes that leave decisions such as whether to phase out coal power in the hands of the market. These “carbon markets”, he said, are a “ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Two Popes and Climate Change

Posted on 24 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Pope Francis issued a lengthy encyclical last week calling for radical change in human behavior to confront climate change. He presented climate change as the moral issue of our time. “Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it,” the pope declared.
“It is a mistake to rely on the ‘myths’ of a modernity grounded in a utilitarian mindset (individualism, unlimited progress, competition, consumerism, the unregulated market),” he added. While denying that anyone is suggesting a return to the Stone Age and conceding that “[T]echnoscience, when well directed, can produce important means of improving the quality of human life,” Pope Francis refused to dismiss doomsday predictions if society continues along its present path………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Climate change: Prime Minister Tony Abbott warming to bigger greenhouse cuts

Posted on 23 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Abbott government is weighing tougher emissions reduction targets for the post-2020 period than conservatives in cabinet had wanted in a move that would restore Australia to the international mainstream on climate change policy and challenge the Prime Minister’s reputation as a global warming denier.
Fairfax Media understands the push for a more urgent approach, which could see Australia running with Canada and the US who have both announced stronger targets than expected, is coming from within the government and is aimed at cutting Australia’s greenhouse emissions more rapidly, perhaps by as much as 24 to 28 per cent by 2030………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Appetite for euro reform falters

Posted on 22 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Eurozone leaders will propose making only minor changes to the way the EU’s common currency is governed over the next two years in a report to be published on Monday, offering a clear sign that the reformist zeal seen in earlier phases of the eurozone crisis has stalled.
The 24-page report, authored by Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, with input from the heads of the European Central Bank, European Council and eurogroup of finance ministers, calls for the bedding down of rules and institutions that were created during the crisis until July 2017 before moving on to more ambitious reforms………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China Readies Nationwide Carbon Trading Scheme by End of 2016

Posted on 22 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An official of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has announced on June 17, Wednesday, that the nationwide carbon trading scheme is likely to be ready by the end of 2016 or early 2017, as the government aims to reach emissions peak by 2030 and make full use of market mechanisms to meet its targets.
The country also intends to extend the coverage to other parts of the country by 2016, as seven regional pilot exchanges are already in operation, according to a report by Reuters. “There is a lot of work to be done if we are to get the market running by 2016, and the launch date depends on the progress we make,” Wang Shu, a climate change official with the NDRC, said during a conference in Beijing on June 15………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pope rejects carbon pricing

Posted on 22 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Many politicians lining up to praise Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment and climate change released last week clearly have either not read it or don’t understand what it says. The most significant thing in the Pope’s encyclical is that it alternately attacks and ignores the two most popular methods governments around the world are telling their citizens will be effective in reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change.
The first is carbon taxes, the second, cap-and-trade. The Pope never mentions carbon taxes (such as the one in British Columbia) once, in a 184-page document that is otherwise so detailed in its response to climate change it even attacks the excessive use of, and I quote, “air-conditioning”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon Glut Limits German Options to Meet Emissions Target

Posted on 19 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A glut of European Union carbon-emission permits is limiting Germany’s options to meet its 2020 greenhouse gas-reduction target, according to the nation’s environment ministry.
Europe will take years to eliminate its surplus before cost-effective climate strategies based on carbon markets will get traction, Dirk Weinreich, head of emissions trading in the ministry, said Monday. Germany wants to cut emissions at home to meet its most-immediate climate goal rather than just buy and retire pollution allowances, he said in an interview………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pope attacks emissions trading as a possible ‘ploy’

Posted on 19 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Pope Francis attacked one of the major policy initiatives in the fight to combat climate change, warning in his encyclical published on Thursday that the trading carbon credits could merely reward speculators instead of controlling global greenhouse gas emissions.
The pope, the first from the developing world, cautioned that carbon trading systems could be a smokescreen to allow large carbon emitters in wealthy countries to keep doing so, suggesting it might be “a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors.” The sharp critique of the market-based approach to curbing emissions comes as support for carbon trading is growing, embraced by institutions like the World Bank and United Nations, as well as the heads of many multinational companies and countries like China…………………………………………Full Article: Source

What Pope Francis gets wrong about climate change

Posted on 19 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Pope Francis released a wide-ranging, 192-page encyclical on climate change Thursday, making several points that are extremely important — and, although many environmentalists aren’t mentioning them, others that are profoundly counterproductive. The document should serve as a call to action, not as a comprehensive guidance for world policymakers.
First, the good stuff. The Vatican insists that people must take scientists’ warnings seriously, noting the large volume of scientific work on the risks of heat-trapping gases concentrating in the atmosphere. Francis also emphasized that the world’s poor are likely to feel the brunt of climate change’s effects, a fact that typically doesn’t feature in an American debate more often focused on the potential consequences to farmers in California, ranchers in Texas or waterside property owners in New York………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China: National carbon market may start by end of 2016

Posted on 18 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s long-awaited nationwide carbon trading scheme is likely to be ready by the end of 2016 or early 2017, an official with the country’s top economic planner said on Wednesday.The country is aiming to bring its emissions to a peak around 2030 and has pledged to make full use of market mechanisms to meet targets.
Seven regional pilot exchanges are in operation and the aim is to extend coverage to the rest of the country by 2016. “There is a lot of work to be done if we are to get the market running by 2016, and the launch date depends on the progress we make,” said Wang Shu, a climate change official with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Airline industry backs global emissions trading scheme

Posted on 18 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The boss of International Airlines Group on Wednesday said the industry would prefer a global emissions trading scheme to tackle aviation pollution, although other “interesting” options were also under consideration.
Emissions from European flights are already covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), but an EU law, meant to take effect from 2012, that extended the arrangement to intercontinental aviation emissions caused outcry. That forced the EU to retreat and U.N. body the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) took on the task of coming up with a global alternative. Its deadline is a meeting planned for late 2016………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The G7’s immoral no-carbon pledge

Posted on 18 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Any time world leaders gather for strategic planning, their number one goal should be identifying and executing the policies that will most further human progress, based on the best evidence we have. If the G7 had adhered to this goal, its recent summit would have announced a resounding conclusion about energy: humanity needs far more fossil fuels.
Reviewing the evidence, the G7 would note that for the last 35 years, doomsayers have predicted that our use of fossil fuels would cause catastrophic global warming, catastrophic pollution, or a catastrophic shortage of fossil fuels themselves………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The pope and climate change

Posted on 17 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Religious organisations tend to operate slowly and ponderously, while environmental politics, and sometimes the environment itself, move more rapidly. The Vatican had intended to release Pope Francis’s long-planned encyclical on climate change in a carefully choreographed event on the morning of June 18th, but a version of it, apparently pretty close to the final one, was leaked to the world by L’Espresso, an Italian magazine, four days early.
The document’s release is still a dramatic event. By throwing his personal authority behind the global effort to mitigate climate change, the pope has made a significant intervention in world affairs. From the secular world’s perspective, this is probably the most important step he has made during his two-year papacy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CO2 emissions trading overhaul will drive EU towards low-carbon economy

Posted on 17 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Now that parliament has approved plans for a reformed emissions trading scheme, all eyes are on commissioner Cañete to come up with a carbon market proposal. Back in early May, the European parliament and member state representatives reached an agreement on a far-reaching reform of the European emissions trading scheme (ETS). That agreement has also been endorsed by parliament’s environment, public health and food safety committee and is tabled for plenary adoption next month.
This reform is structural and effective. ETS is the centrepiece of the EU’s 2030 climate and energy policy framework. An effective carbon pricing system incentivises energy efficiency and low-carbon production. Because of the economic crisis, there needed to be an overhaul of the ETS………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Businesses call on European Commission to deliver post-2020 carbon market reform plan

Posted on 16 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Leading businesses from across Europe have today called on the European Commission to publish its long-term plans for the EU’s flagship emissions trading scheme (ETS), amid mounting fears the crucial plans could be delayed past the summer.
The Prince of Wales’s EU Corporate Leaders Group, which represents a host of blue chip firms including Philips, Shell and Unilever, joined with the power utilities trade body Eurelectric and the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) to write to EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Arias Cañete urging him to deliver long-awaited proposals within the next few months………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Taiwan: New ‘historic’ carbon emissions law seeks to cut emissions by 50% by 2050

Posted on 16 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Lawmakers yesterday ratified a “historic” carbon footprint act that mandates Taiwan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by half the level of 2005 by 2050. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin called it a historic point in Taiwan’s fight against climate change.
First proposed six years ago, the act passed third reading yesterday with support from both ruling and opposition lawmakers, according to Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Chiu Wen-yen. “The R.O.C. is not a member of the United Nations, but it is pledging to maintain international standards when it comes to carbon emissions reduction,” Chiu said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

‘New blood’ boosts California carbon market

Posted on 15 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

New participants in the secondary market for California carbon allowances have helped boost liquidity in recent days, providing a shot of life after weeks of stagnation, traders said on Friday. California carbon allowances for June delivery were last seen at $12.55 a tonne in the over-the-counter market, up 4 cents from Thursday’s close after two straight days of above-average trading volumes, carbon brokers said.
“New blood has provided a boost,” one broker said on Friday. “The market has had a malaise for some time but a couple new people have come in as buyers.” The market, which launched in 2013 to cover utilities, oil refineries and manufacturers, expanded at the beginning of the year to cover transportation sector emissions, doubling its size. The newly covered entities include distributors of transportation fuels like gasoline and diesel………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Climate change: the challenge for Australia

Posted on 15 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

I once called climate change policy diabolical, but with a saving grace. It is diabolical because of the overlapping of four complex issues. While there is high scientific confidence that human action causes warming and that, beyond some limit, warming damages many aspects of human life, perhaps catastrophically, there is uncertainty about the precise consequences.
The costs of effective action come now and the benefits much later. Avoidance of dangerous outcomes requires parallel action in all of the larger countries. And effective action is politically difficult because it confronts the interests of large corporations that are accustomed to investing heavily to bend policy to their own ends. When I first started working on the issue eight years ago, I said it might be too difficult for our political system at this early stage of our development………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UN welcomes oil groups’ help to fight global warming

Posted on 12 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The UN will take up an offer from six of Europe’s largest oil and gas groups to help it fight global warming as countries work on sealing a new international climate change agreement. The unusual proposal from companies including Royal Dutch Shell and Britain’s BP was “very, very welcome”, the UN’s top climate official, Christiana Figueres, told the FT in an interview.
Chief executives of the six companies wrote to Ms Figueres in late May saying they wanted to help countries devise a global carbon-pricing system ahead of the climate deal nearly 200 countries are due to finalise in Paris in December………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Climate deal likely at Paris 2015 conference after G7 decarbonization pledge says Sir David King

Posted on 12 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The UK’s top climate change diplomat has spent the past 18 months making 62 trips around the world to secure a climate deal in Paris this December. For him, Monday’s G7 agreement to “decarbonize the global economy” means a workable global climate deal is likely in Paris, he said late Wednesday 10 June.
“That commitment from the G7, to me, was a critical turning point,” said Sir David King, the UK’s Special Representative for Climate Change, in a process where “progress has been painfully close to zero.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

US backs international regulations on aircraft emissions

Posted on 11 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The US is backing international regulations on carbon dioxide emissions from commercial aircraft after a formal finding that the gas contributes to global warming, officials said on Wednesday.
The Environmental Protection Agency, the US regulator, issued a proposed finding that greenhouses gases from aviation “endanger the public health and welfare of current and future generations”, a move that, if confirmed, would provide a legal basis for regulations to curb emissions from aircraft………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Guangdong’s quarterly carbon auction undersubscribed

Posted on 11 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The latest auction on China’s largest carbon market in Guangdong province sold little more than 10 percent of the permits on offer on Wednesday, with companies able to buy allowances more cheaply on the secondary market due to an economic downturn.
The local carbon bourse, the China Emissions Exchange, said it sold 315,000 permits at a minimum bidding price of 40 yuan in its last quarterly auction of the compliance year, during which companies must buy permits to cover their carbon emissions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Scotland misses carbon target for fourth year in a row

Posted on 10 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Co-leader of Scottish Greens says Holyrood has ‘failed spectacularly’ as annual figures show target missed by 2m tonnes equivalent of CO2. Scottish ministers have been accused of “a staggering lack of ambition” after the government missed its annual climate emissions target for the fourth year running.
Opposition parties said Nicola Sturgeon’s government had to start dramatically cutting CO2 emissions from transport, housing and the public sector after the latest annual statistics showed Scotland missed its emissions target by 2m tonnes equivalent (mte) of CO2………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Energy Firms Push For Effective Carbon Pricing

Posted on 10 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Energy firms are pushing for effective carbon pricing with chief executives of six major energy companies writing to the United Nations to request help in setting up a scheme that works. Chief executives from BP, Royal Dutch, Shell, Total, Statoil, Eni and the BG Group, approached Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to ask if she would help them hold direct dialogue with the UN and willing governments.
Currently, the EU operates the world’s largest carbon trading scheme, which limits about 45% of total emissions. However the system is not producing significant results due, in part, to the low price setting for carbon, which does not currently factor in natural capital, such as the environmental costs associated with CO2 emissions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

G7 to limit global warming to below 2 degrees

Posted on 09 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The G7 agreed Monday afternoon to limit the increase in global temperatures to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, a victory for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who wanted the group of wealthy countries to present a united front ahead of a climate summit in Paris this December.
“Urgent and concrete action is needed to address climate change,” said a statement issued by the group, ending a summit held in the Bavarian Alps. The plan calls for meeting a United Nations recommendation for reducing emissions in 2050 from 40 to 70 percent below 2010 levels. That may be enough to prevent global temperatures from rising to dangerous levels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon tax or cap-and-trade: Which would work better?

Posted on 09 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Which is a better policy for reducing greenhouse gases: a tax on carbon or a cap-and-trade approach? Given today’s gridlocked politics, I realize that’s a little bit like asking: Do you like your unicorns to be striped or polka-dotted? But as the Times pointed out:
This week, the top executives of six large European oil and gas companies called for a tax on carbon emissions. These companies — the BG Group, BP, Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil and Total — are not taking a bold environmental stand. They are being pragmatic. They want an efficient and predictable policy to limit greenhouse gas emissions because they realize something must be done………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The EPA’s ‘Clean Power’ Mess

Posted on 08 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

‘Flexibility” is the advertised hallmark of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, which by 2030 would reduce carbon-dioxide emissions from U.S. power plants by 30% from 2005 levels. The central feature of the plan is a forced shift away from inexpensive coal-fired power.
Not to worry, says EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy: “With EPA’s flexible proposal, states choose the ways we cut carbon pollution, so we can still have affordable, reliable power to grow our economy.” Under the plan, the EPA will set a carbon-dioxide-emissions target for every state, and give each state roughly a year to develop and implement a “state plan” to meet it. Of course, the EPA must approve the plan before it can go into effect………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Should governments intervene in energy markets?

Posted on 05 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Climate change and public sector debt are two of the biggest issues for modern governments and they come together in the vexed question of how far the state should intervene in energy markets. According to the International Monetary Fund, energy subsidies accounted for 8% of total global government spending in 2011 ($1.9tn, or £1.2tn), due mainly to the political appeal of keeping energy prices down.
In the UK, energy remains a contentious issue. Despite sharp falls in wholesale prices for coal and gas over the past year, household bills are as high as ever – prompting regulator Ofgem to refer the retail energy market to the Competition and Markets Authority………………………………………..Full Article: Source

European business and climate change: Walking the walk

Posted on 05 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Six big European oil and gas firms called on June 1st for a globally co-ordinated price on carbon-dioxide emissions, to restrain the impact on the climate of burning fossil fuels. It was a bombshell, in its way. Five years ago no one would have expected the move: as producers of much of the world’s dirty fuels, their industry was disinclined to join forces and advocate accelerating the switch to cleaner ones.
“It is a sort of revolution,” says Patrick Pouyanné, the boss of one of the six, Total. And it is not just the energy firms. As world leaders prepare to meet in Paris in December to produce an agreement on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, attitudes towards climate change have altered profoundly among businesses of all kinds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU may offer polluters 10 more years of free carbon credits

Posted on 05 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Union may have to offer its heaviest polluting industries another 10 years of free carbon credits to prevent them from leaving the region to do business elsewhere, EU regulators have suggested in a report seen by Reuters. Ten years ago the EU launched a plan to tackle climate change by asking heavy industry and utilities to pay for every tonne of carbon dioxide they produced. After fierce lobbying, it conceded that the heaviest polluters could have free permits.
The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) runs until 2020 and it was hoped by environmental campaigners that the next version of it would substantially reduce free allocations to encourage firms to invest in new technology to lower their carbon emissions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil majors’ climate call exposes U.S.-Europe rift on carbon pricing

Posted on 04 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The failed attempt by the world’s oil majors to speak on climate change action with one voice has laid bare disagreement between U.S. and European companies on putting a price on carbon. The world’s top oil companies have struggled for years to form a joint front in the face of growing criticism for not taking leadership against climate change.
This week’s letter calling for a global carbon pricing by Europe’s Statoil, Total, BP, Shell as well as ENI and BG showed first signs of such an agreement, albeit without the support of U.S. peers Exxon Mobil and Chevron………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s national carbon market: When, where and how?

Posted on 04 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Barcelona has seen more raucous partygoers, but the sharp suits drinking in the beachfront Carpe Diem bar last week were in bullish form. Wine, beer and champagne flowed as carbon traders from around the world gathered on the final night of industry fair Carbon Expo to toast what many think could be their finest hour.
Many of their colleagues have fallen in the past few years, brought low by the twin woes of the EU’s emissions trading scheme and the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism. Both heralded a new dawn of market-based climate policies. Both were found wanting. The price of EU and CDM credits don’t lie. Nor does the string of bust companies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon trading schemes around the world

Posted on 04 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Europe’s top oil and gas companies this week urged governments around the world to introduce a pricing system for carbon emissions. While a global carbon market remains elusive a report published by the World Bank last week showed 40 nations and over 20 cities, states and regions now have a price on CO2 emissions, covering around 12 percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions, or the equivalent of nearly 7 billion tonnes of CO2.
The value of global schemes to price carbon totaled almost $50 billion as of April 1, with the bulk of this, $34 billion from emission trading schemes,the World Bank said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global CO2 pricing seen unlikely to be big part of Paris climate deal

Posted on 03 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A global carbon emissions pricing system pushed by top energy companies is unlikely to be a big part of any United Nations’ deal to curb global warming, some experts say, because many countries have little faith in such cross-border initiatives. “All countries are relatively sceptical on international market mechanisms,” said Niklas Hoehne, founding partner of research group NewClimate Institute.
“They are open to have national trading mechanisms or national pricing, but to have these mechanisms internationally, there is a lot of reluctance.” On Monday, BG Group, BP, Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil and France’s Total urged governments to create a global market for carbon emissions, saying this would create a widely accepted price for carbon and help spur low-carbon investment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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