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Commodities Briefing - Category | Environmental Trading more

Climate change: On the economics of the end of the world as we know it

Posted on 30 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Climate change puts humanity at risk. The Pope’s celebrated encyclical letter on the subject released last month emphasised this risk “for our common home”, arguing that “doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain”. But apocalyptic predictions are often made by religious groups. So, how serious is this claim?
Perhaps for the first time in history, there seems to be a broad consensus among scientists. They claim that our planet might face a frightening future if we cannot agree to take decisive actions here and now. Changes to how seawater circulates in the Atlantic, the melting of glaciers on Greenland and in the Antarctic, and rising sea levels might all result from inaction. Accounting for these catastrophic scenarios is a huge challenge for scientists and economists alike………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon Trading Part of Late Push for Obama Power Plant Limits

Posted on 30 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Some businesses that back President Barack Obama’s plan to curb greenhouse gases are making a late lobbying push to add an element similar to a cap-and-trade program. With the administration set this week or next to unveil its final rules to cut emissions from coal and natural gas plants, groups for companies such as Johnson Controls Inc., Alstom SA and AES Corp. have pressed officials to include a carbon market so that costs don’t surge.
Those programs — a slimmed-down version of a plan Congress debated and failed to pass early in Obama’s tenure — would apply to states that balk at putting rules in place………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China state power firm partners with local govt to develop CO2 credits

Posted on 29 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Power Investment Corporation, one of China’s big five state power producers, signed a deal with the municipal government of Jiuquan on Tuesday to develop carbon credits from the city’s wind and solar power plants.
The partnership, the first of its kind, will give the state-owned company the opportunity either to buy carbon credits generated by local renewable energy projects or sell them to other market participants. The city of Jiuquan, home of some of China’s largest wind and solar power plants, will offer the credits generated by 23 solar power projects in a single package………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Poll finds 60% believe carbon tax had little or no effect on electricity bills

Posted on 29 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Only 21% of voters polled believe that the carbon price had a large impact on power prices and just 9% thought the repeal had pushed prices down. More than 60% of voters think the former Labor government’s carbon price had no effect, or only a small effect, on electricity bills – as the Abbott government tries to rerun its cost of living argument against Labor’s pledge to reintroduce an emissions trading scheme.
Only 21% of voters (30% of Liberal/National voters and 15% of Labor and Green voters) believe the carbon price had a big impact on electricity prices, according to the latest poll by Essential Media………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETS would be more cost-effective than higher renewables target, analyst says

Posted on 28 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An emissions trading scheme would be cheaper and more effective than Labor’s 50% renewables goal or the government’s Direct Action policy, Paul Hyslop says. The author of the $60bn price tag for Bill Shorten’s new renewable energy goal – cited by Tony Abbott as proof the scheme is unaffordable – says an emissions trading scheme like the one the Coalition abolished would be more cost-effective than either the coalition’s “Direct Action” plan or Labor’s new goal.
ACIL Allen Consulting chief executive, Paul Hyslop, told Guardian Australia his $60bn cost estimate of Labor’s goal to have 50% of Australia’s electricity generated by renewables by 2030 was based on a quick calculation of how much extra renewable capacity would be required, and the cost to deliver it though wind power………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Inside China’s shift to a low-carbon economy

Posted on 28 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s announcement of how it plans to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions represents the clearest signal to date that a major structural shift away from carbon-intensive development is underway in the world’s second-largest economy.
The direction outlined by the Chinese government — to peak the country’s carbon-dioxide emissions around 2030 or likely earlier — is ground-breaking, both in the scale of proposed emissions reductions, and when viewed within the wider trend of substantial GHG reductions pledged by major economies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The world waits on Australia’s emissions targets

Posted on 27 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With a UN conference in Paris in November aimed at setting emissions targets, Bill Shorten’s pledge for renewable energy generation assumes significance beyond run-of-the-mill politicking. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has elevated the stakes in a climate change debate that will help to define campaigning for the coming federal election, due within 18 months.
His announcement – without reference to shadow cabinet – of an ambitious target of 50 per cent of energy generation from renewable sources by 2030 represents an aspirational goal without detail of cost, or how this bold benchmark might be reached………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s climate change plan represents decisive move

Posted on 27 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Chinese premier Li Keqiang recently unveiled the country’s plan for combating climate change. While it could have been more ambitious, the plan shows China’s leaders are serious about changing the country’s development path. It critically undermines those in the West who claim that climate action should be delayed because China is doing nothing.
With China accounting for nearly 30 per cent of global CO2 emissions in 2013, its actions have profound global implications. China’s plan contains a commitment that its CO2 emissions will peak by 2030 or earlier, and that it will reduce the carbon intensity of the economy by between 60 per cent and 65 per cent by 2030. It also contains significant targets for non-fossil energy and forests………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bill Shorten recommits to emissions trading, opposing ‘Abbott’s society of flat-earthers’

Posted on 24 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bill Shorten was due to recommit to an emissions trading scheme in his first speech to Labor’s national conference as party leader, vowing not to succumb to “ridiculous scare campaigns” by Tony Abbott’s “society of flat earthers”. The Labor leader intended to stare down the prime minister’s warnings about a return to the Gillard government’s carbon tax by declaring emphatically that “an ETS is not a tax” and Australia must not be a laggard on climate policy.
Shorten was also signalling that he would resist pressure from the Murdoch press – which has already begun campaigning against a return to carbon pricing – and pragmatic elements within his own party which question the political wisdom of re-embracing the policy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon tax: blunders continue, as do the risks

Posted on 23 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As Bill Shorten continues to ­appeal to the Left and bid against the Greens on climate change, he has locked Labor into its fourth election in a row on carbon pricing, taxes and electricity cost rises. There is no doubt the Oppos­ition Leader and environment spokesman Mark Butler think they can run a successful political campaign against Tony Abbott for being a climate change denier, “stuck in the past” and a windmill hater, but the risks are enormous.
The Prime Minister has been relentlessly successful in arguing against a carbon price. What’s more, the political strategy and skill displayed so far on an emissions trading scheme, a carbon price and now a wildly ambitious renewable energy target of 50 per cent electricity generation by 2030, suggests Shorten doesn’t have the political ability to prosecute that case without severe damage………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sharper focus on climate risks bodes well for Paris – but a global deal is just the start

Posted on 23 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

We are now seven months into a defining year for climate change and there are positive signs that investors, business and policy makers are acting with a much-needed sense of urgency - an urgency that has often been missing.
Within the investor community the level of engagement on climate risk and the desire to understand more about how to manage these risks is greater than ever. In response to growing demand for practical advice on managing climate risks, in April IIGCC alongside other investor groups released the climate change investment solutions guide, which outlined how investors can review risks, incorporate them into asset allocation decisions and shift to lower carbon assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is Cap-and-Trade the Answer to North America’s Climate Woes?

Posted on 22 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Industry has been looking for a way to gain social license. Could a cap-and-trade system be the ticket – and if so, what would it cost? When Ontario announced in April that it was joining Quebec and California’s burgeoning cap-and-trade market, it meant that two-thirds of Canada’s population and one-third of its greenhouse gas emissions would soon come under a carbon trading system.
Another third of Canada’s GHG emissions are in Alberta, and that’s where environmentalists immediately looked for a response. Their answer came in the form of the landslide election of the first climate-friendly NDP premier in Alberta history. And as if that wasn’t answer enough, things really took a turn for the surreal when the CEO of one of the province’s biggest emitters called on the province to get tough on taxing carbon………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU carbon price tops €8 for first time since 2012

Posted on 22 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

EU carbon allowances (EUAs) hit their highest levels since 2012 yesterday, breaking the €8 mark for the first time in years as the market continued its recent bullish sentiment. Trading of allowances for December reached a high of €8.01 before closing at €7.99 a ton on the ICE exchange.
The performance represented the first time since 2012 that the carbon price had topped €8, continuing a recovery that saw prices slump below €3 in 2013 as the market battled with a glut of allowances caused by the financial crash and resulting slump in industrial production………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World Bank’s first carbon credit auction shifts 8.7 million tons of methane reductions

Posted on 21 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Private investors bought price guarantees for 8.7 million tons of methane emissions reductions in the first auction round held last week by the World Bank’s new Pilot Auction Facility (PAF). The auction focused on projects to reduce methane gas emissions, which is one of the most harmful greenhouse gases with a warming potential 25 times that of carbon dioxide. It attracted 28 bidders and achieved a clearing price of $2.40 per credit.
The World Bank’s special envoy for climate change Rachel Kyte said the auction has the potential to deliver dividends from projects that reduce methane emissions while benefiting communities. “This is just the kind of financial innovation needed to help bolster the impact of scarce public funds and entice the private sector to make investments in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” she said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NZ could do more greenhouse gas mitigation

Posted on 21 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A lack of ambition in New Zealand to do anything serious about climate change irritates Ralph Sims. “New Zealand should support more public transport, encourage more freight off road, by rail or coastal shipping, substitute woody biomass instead of coal for heating in industry and buildings,” he says.
“The Kiwi car culture could be supported, but only for more efficient vehicles such as hybrids and electric vehicles. Thirty per cent of car trips are less than 2 kilometres, so cycles, including electric ones, will become more common.” Professor Ralph Sims is a science panel member of Climate Change Mitigation, and he is Massey University’s director for the Centre for Energy Research in the School of Engineering and Technology………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ditch emissions trading scheme Labor: Hunt

Posted on 20 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has some advice for Labor on its proposed emissions trading scheme, which he believes will always be a carbon tax. “Completely ditch the policy.” Hunt says it doesn’t matter how Labor dresses it up, an ETS is a carbon tax and its intention is to drive up the cost of living for Australians.
That rule even applies to the ETS proposed by John Howard in 2007, he said. Hunt, who once co-authored a thesis called ‘A Tax to Make the Polluter Pay’, says the only difference between a carbon tax and an ETS is a fixed or floating price………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Cap-and-trade catastrophe

Posted on 20 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Watching the Ontario government forge ahead with its plan to impose cap-and-trade carbon pricing is like watching the Titanic just before it hit the iceberg. Judging from the comments of Climate Change Minister Glen Murray, the Liberals are poised to commit every mistake the Europeans did when setting up their disaster-prone cap-and-trade system, the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), in 2005.
The result will be higher consumer prices in Ontario on, well, almost everything, with no significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change, that cap-and-trade is supposed to achieve………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Brussels proposes emissions trading reform

Posted on 17 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The EU aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2030. To meet this goal, the European Commission has come up with ideas to reform its carbon trading system. Fewer free certificates for carbon dioxide emissions and more flexibility in their allocation are at the core of emissions-trading reforms proposed by the European Commission.
Introduced ten years ago, the emissions trading system (ETS) is Europe’s most important tool for climate protection. But with carbon prices too low to reduce emissions it is in urgent need of an overhaul………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Has the EU’s carbon trading system made business greener?

Posted on 16 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A report marking 10 years of the ETS finds carbon trading has helped companies to reduce emissions but low carbon prices continue to dog the scheme. The EU is celebrating 10 years of the world’s largest carbon trading system this year by looking at new reforms to keep it on track.
The emissions trading scheme (ETS), which covers half of Europe’s CO2 emissions by limiting the number of carbon permits available to energy generators and industry, has been dogged by low prices and oversupply of allowances. The problems are largely ones of success – carbon emissions are lower than anticipated. But much of the oversupply was caused by the recession in Europe, so has the trading system been a waste of time or has it changed business attitudes and operations?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Questions and answers on the proposal to revise the EU emissions trading system

Posted on 16 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1. Why has the Commission proposed today a revision of EU ETS? The European Commission has presented a legislative proposal to revise the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) in line with the 2030 climate and energy policy framework agreed by the EU leaders in October 2014. The proposal is an integral part of the work on achieving a resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy – a top political priority of the Juncker Commission, launched in February 2015.
This is the first step in delivering on the EU’s target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% domestically by 2030 as part of its contribution to the new global climate deal due to be adopted in Paris this December. This proposal sends a strong message to the international community at a critical moment when other major players such as G7 and China have also shown their firm determination. (Press Release)……………………………………….Full Article: Source

EU Carbon Market Reserve Seen Absorbing 85% of Glut by 2021

Posted on 15 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An unprecedented overhaul of the European Union’s carbon market will probably remove 85 percent of a glut of permits that sent prices tumbling and eroded incentives to reduce emissions.
A proposed reserve to control the number of allowances in circulation will probably hold 1.7 billion metric tons of the contracts by 2021, according to the median estimate in a survey of eight analysts and traders. The European Commission will unveil on Wednesday a package of rules for the market through 2030, some of which will probably set the size of the reserve………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Czech court rules against national tax on carbon permits

Posted on 15 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Czech court has ruled against a tax imposed on carbon emission allowances granted free to companies, opening the way for state-owned electricity producer CEZ to claim back 5.3 billion crowns ($216 million) from the government. The ruling was made on July 9 in favour of electricity producer Sko-Energo, according to the Supreme Adminstrative Court website.
Under the EU’s Emissions Trading Directive, companies were awarded free at least 90 percent of each member state’s permits for carbon emissions in 2008-2012. The European Union’s Court of Justice ruled in February that the Czech tax, introduced in 2011 and set at 32 percent, was at odds with the directive in light of a 10 percent limit on the government selling or taxing credits………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon-Trading Program Generates $1.3 Billion in U.S. Northeast

Posted on 15 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide generated $1.3 billion in benefits for nine U.S. states, a finding that may win converts elsewhere in the country. Funding from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative also created more than 14,000 new jobs in the Northeast and saved consumers $460 million in lower electric bills over the past three years, according to a report released Monday by Analysis Group, a Boston-based consulting company.
The benefits came mainly from customer rebates and efficiency measures spurred by the program. The six-year-old carbon trading market, the first in the U.S., may serve as a model for other states, which all must now regulate emissions to meet new rules from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency……………………………………….Full Article: Source

EU parliament approves market stability reserve for emissions trading

Posted on 14 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Parliament has approved an agreement reached with the European council to reform the EU emissions trading system (ETS), through the introduction of a market stability reserve (MSR) mechanism, which will become operational as of 2019.
The ETS allows companies to purchase CO2 emissions allowances, or sell them off if they have any carbon provisions left over. The MSR is intended to ensure more stable prices for these allowances, by reducing the offer if there are too many allowances on the market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s Guangdong to allocate 408 million carbon permits this year

Posted on 14 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s biggest carbon market in Guangdong province will allocate 408 million carbon permits to firms to help them comply with emission targets set for the trading year ending in June 2016, the same amount as the previous year.
A total of 186 companies will be granted 370 million carbon permits, which currently trade at a price of 15.52 yuan, down 74 percent from the market’s launch one and half years ago, showed a statement from the China Emissions Exchange in Guangdong on Monday. The local government will set aside the remaining 38 million permits for 31 market entrants, and 2 million permits from reserves to be sold during quarterly auctions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon Trade Exchange adds new leadership: Update

Posted on 13 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Carbon Trade Exchange (CTX) has added two former Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) executives to its leadership to help expand the Australian firm’s North American presence. Michael MacGregor takes the role of CTX Group chief strategy officer and Daniel Scarbrough will serve as president of CTX USA. Both men will also hold positions on the CTX board of directors. CTX USA CEO Nathan Rockliff retains his position but will take on a more strategic role in North America and abroad.
Scarbrough and MacGregor helped found the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange, which ICE purchased in July 2010. At ICE, they helped design and launch a number of futures and options contracts across various environmental markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s Provinces Learn How to Reduce Emissions with Trading

Posted on 13 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As many U.S. states start to think about ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the proposed Clean Power Plan, it’s eye-opening to see how Chinese provinces are taking many of the same first steps.
I recently joined state officials from Arizona and Michigan and a Georgetown University professor on a study tour of China’s climate policy and low-carbon technology use at the provincial level. In each city we visited — Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu in Sichuan province, and Changsha in Hunan province — our meetings with government officials, academics, and nongovernmental organizations had a common theme: Environmental issues are a serious challenge for China and greenhouse gases should be addressed along with other types of pollution………………………………………..Full Article: Source

European Parliament votes for early carbon market reform

Posted on 10 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Parliament has endorsed plans to reform the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), it was announced yesterday (8 July). The Parliament voted 495 to 198 in favour of measures intended to reduce the surplus of carbon credits available to ensure the correct price of carbon - bringing the move forward to 2019, two years earlier than originally planned.
MEPs argued a glut of around two billion excess carbon allowances had accrued, undermining the EU’s emissions trading system. The planned reform will introduce a Market Stability Reserve (MSR) to reduce the surplus credits and increase the price of carbon. The law will take a portion of ETS allowances out of the market and place them in a reserve………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A Carbon Brief guide to the Our Common Future conference in Paris

Posted on 10 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the biggest gathering of scientists ahead of COP21 in December, thousands of climatologists, social scientists, economists and policy experts have descended on the UNESCO headquarters in Paris today to kick off the Our Common Future under Climate Change conference.
There’s an almost unfathomably large amount of research being presented here in the next four days. So here’s Carbon Brief’s selection of talks, posters and events that have caught our eye. Carbon Brief will also be running informal workshops each day for scientists to come along and talk to us about how the media covers climate change, learn more about what journalists look for in a story and tell us about their own media experiences………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU parliament backs reform of carbon market

Posted on 09 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Parliament on Wednesday approved plans to overhaul the Europe Union’s carbon market, a key part of strategies to curb the EU’s global-warming emissions. Under reforms due to take effect in 2019, the Emissions Trading System (ETS) will set aside a portion of carbon credits if the surplus of emission allowances on the market exceeds a certain threshold.
The reserve will then be put back onto the market if prices recover. The Market Stability Reserve (MSR) “is a crucial building block to help ensure that CO2 (carbon dioxide) prices spur innovation in the field of energy efficiency,” said Ivo Belet, a Belgian Euro-MP who helped steer the text through the assembly………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU politicians back carbon market 2019 reform start

Posted on 09 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Parliament on Wednesday approved a proposal to begin reform of the world’s biggest carbon market in 2019, clearing the last major hurdle before the plan can become law. The aim is make the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) strong enough to spur investment in lower-carbon energy and precedes U.N. talks in Paris at the end of the year to seek a deal to curb global warming.
EU carbon allowances at around 7.50 euros per tonne were little changed after Wednesday’s vote, which had been expected. Ivo Belet, from the centre-right European People’s Party, who led the debate in parliament, said the reform strengthened the credibility of the European Union ahead of the Paris climate summit………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU politicians set to back carbon market 2019 reform start

Posted on 08 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Parliament on Wednesday is expected to back a 2019 start to reform of the world’s largest emissions market in a step toward deeper change and higher carbon prices. The aim is make the EU Emissions Trading System strong enough to spur investment in lower-carbon energy and comes ahead of U.N. talks in Paris at the end of the year over a deal to curb global warming.
Following a vote expected after 1 p.m. (1100 GMT) on Wednesday in a plenary session of the Parliament in Strasbourg, the reform will require a sign-off from member states to become EU law. The planned reform involves setting up a Market Stability Reserve to store surplus carbon allowances that have piled up due to oversupply and economic slowdown………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Emissions cuts deeper: Groser

Posted on 08 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Government will take a highly conditional pledge to cut New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to 11 per cent below 1990 levels - and therefore about 28 per cent from current levels - to the Paris climate conference in December. The conference is intended to agree to a global deal to curb emissions more ambitious and wide-ranging than anything international negotiations have yet accomplished.
Climate Change Minister Tim Groser said the target is expressed as a cut of 30 per cent from 2005 levels to make it more readily comparable to the approach of the United States and Canada. “It is a significant increase on our current target for 5 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

EU Carbon Set-Aside for New Firms Set to Drop, BNEF Says

Posted on 07 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Union’s post-2020 reserve for new entrants to the carbon market is set to shrink under a plan the bloc’s regulator is considering, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
The European Commission, the EU’s regulatory arm, wants to earmark for new emitters and potential increases in production some carbon allowances not used in 2013-2020 and 250 million permits from a planned market-stability reserve, according to draft legislation. The measure would translate into law a climate deal reached last year, when the 28-nation bloc’s leaders endorsed a faster pace of pollution cuts in the next decade………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon credits: Enlisting market forces to combat climate change

Posted on 07 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Eighty two percent of the world’s energy is still produced by fossil fuels. There is still a long way to wean humanity off carbon, but carbon trading is a step forward. One of the greatest environmental threats that our planet faces today is the potential for changes in the Earth’s climate and temperature patterns known as global climate change.
Although fossil-fuel combustion has generated most of the buildup of climate-altering carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, effective solutions require more than just designing cleaner energy sources. Equally important is the establishment of institutions and strategies, particularly markets, business regulations and government policies, which provide economies with incentives to apply innovative technologies and practices that reduce emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will The ‘Just Say No’ Strategy To Thwarting Obama’s Carbon Plan Work?

Posted on 06 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has curbed the Environmental Protection Agency efforts to enact mercury standards, the coal sector wants to carry forward the same winning mindset — and help kill the same agency’s proposed carbon standards. Will it work?
That’s highly unlikely. But it will serve to delay the implementation of the rule that would cut carbon releases by 30 percent by 2030. At issue in both the mercury case decided last Monday and the Clean Power Plan to be finalized this summer is costs — and whether they would be rational in comparison to the benefits produced………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s emission targets jeopardised by doubt

Posted on 06 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Chinese Premier Li Keiqang’s grandstanding promise this week to slash carbon emissions by 2030 has been challenged by Beijing’s refusal to set a ceiling on total emissions and a plunge in the value of permits. While Mr Li used UN climate change talks in Paris to announce China would over the next 15 years reduce its carbon intensity by between 60 and 65 per cent, by unit of GDP, from 2005 levels, the failure to reveal the exact level of emissions has left analysts and environmentalists questioning whether the ambitious goal will be met.
With China reliant on coal for 80 per cent of its power generation and non-fossil fuels responsible for only 10 per cent, the government plans to boost the share of solar, wind and nuclear power to at least 20 per cent over the next decade………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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

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