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Carbon tax or trade? Debate loses steam as world embraces both

Posted on 28 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Tax versus trade is an issue that has stalked the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) over its 10 years of existence, but is fading in importance as the world moves towards increased use of both methods of cutting greenhouse gas pollution.
The European Union set up the ETS in 2005 as a way of getting round policy-making rules that require the unanimity of member states to decide on a tax. Following years of legislative fine-tuning to overcome problems such as a glut of carbon allowances, they say it is on track and has advantages over a tax because it can be linked to a political target to cut emissions…………………………………….Full Article: Source

China readies carbon markets in climate struggle

Posted on 28 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

At first, the numbers and company names flashing on a big board in Beijing’s financial district suggest a booming market. A closer look indicates otherwise: The scrolling list rotates the same dozen or so trades, all from last year.
The lights from the Beijing Environment Exchange — one of seven pilot markets in China for trading carbon — raises questions for the country as it prepares for next year’s roll-out of a nationwide system that could help the world’s biggest emitter of heat-trapping carbon dioxide rein in its emissions…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Carbon pricing schemes climb to $50bn, despite Australian backtracking

Posted on 28 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The value of carbon pricing schemes rose to $50 billion in 2015, according to a new assessment by the World Bank. It outlines its findings in the latest edition of Carbon Pricing Watch, which examines the state of the world’s carbon markets in advance of its more detailed report due later this year.
As of 1 April 2015, emissions trading schemes were valued at $34 billion, up from $32 billion the previous year. This was despite the repeal of Australia’s carbon pricing mechanism in July 2014 at the hands of prime minister Tony Abbott. Emissions trading schemes are not the only way to put a price on carbon. For the first time, the World Bank has also valued carbon taxes across the world, which it finds amount to $14 billion…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Global schemes to price CO2 emissions worth almost $50 billion: World Bank

Posted on 27 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The value of global schemes to put a price on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and designed to reduce greenhouse gases blamed for global warming totalled almost $50 billion as of April 1, the World Bank said in a report on Tuesday.
The Carbon Pricing Watch report estimates emission trading schemes were worth $34 billion on April 1, up from $32 billion in 2014, while carbon taxes around the world, valued for the first time in the report, were about $14 billion. ………………………………….Full Article: Source

Carbon Market Value Expands to $34 Billion as Korea Joins

Posted on 27 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The value of global carbon permits expanded to $34 billion in the past year, with gains led by South Korea, California and Quebec, the World Bank said. Permits aimed at reducing greenhouse gases were worth 6.3 percent more than the $32 billion a year earlier, the Washington-based lender said Tuesday in an e-mailed report compiled with Ecofys International BV. With taxes of $14 billion, the total value of such carbon pricing programs is $48 billion, the bank said.
Markets now cover 12 percent of global emissions, up from 4 percent in 2005, when the European Union began what’s now the world’s biggest program. The bloc is seeking an accord by July on curbing an oversupply that will remain beyond 2020. EU carbon prices slid 67 percent since the end of 2007, according to data from ICE Futures Europe on Bloomberg…………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU carbon market expects price rise for first time in four years

Posted on 27 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Participants in the European Union’s carbon market expect average prices to rise for the first time in four years, an annual survey published by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) showed on Tuesday. The survey conducted by PwC drew on responses from 122 IETA members including utilities, trading houses and banks.
Respondents anticipate an average EU carbon price of 10.79 euros ($11.76) per metric ton (1.1023 tons) in the third phase of the Emissions Trading System (ETS), which runs from 2013 to 2020…………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S., Canada and Mexico create new climate change partnership

Posted on 26 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

North American energy ministers said on Monday they had set up a working group on climate change and energy, a partnership designed to help Canada, the United States and Mexico harmonize policies. The partnership does not include binding targets, but will enhance cooperation and integrate more climate change-related policies into energy discussions between the countries, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford said during a conference call.
All three governments said they will prioritize working together on issues, including efficiency of electricity grids, pursuing new clean energy technologies and aligning regulations to control emissions from the oil and gas sector………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s Hubei carbon market postpones compliance deadline to June

Posted on 26 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The carbon exchange in China’s Hubei is likely to postpone a May compliance deadline by about a month as the province tries to tackle a massive glut that is currently weighing on the market, industry sources said.
Nearly 140 market participants were supposed to surrender their permits this month to comply with their targets, but Hubei has not yet come to an agreement on emission caps with local companies and has pushed the deadline to June, companies and brokers familiar with the situation said. Hubei government officials could not be immediately reached for a comment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China readies national carbon market to fight climate change

Posted on 26 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

At first, the numbers and company names flashing on a big board in Beijing’s financial district suggest a booming market. A closer look indicates otherwise: The scrolling list rotates the same dozen or so trades, all from last year.
The lights from the Beijing Environment Exchange — one of seven pilot markets in China for trading carbon — raises questions for the country as it prepares for next year’s roll-out of a nationwide system that could help the world’s biggest emitter of heat-trapping carbon dioxide rein in its emissions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China readies national carbon market to fight climate change

Posted on 25 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

At first, the numbers and company names flashing on a big board in Beijing’s financial district suggest a booming market. A closer look indicates otherwise: The scrolling list rotates the same dozen or so trades, all from last year.
The lights from the Beijing Environment Exchange - one of seven pilot markets in China for trading carbon - raises questions for the country as it prepares for next year’s roll-out of a nationwide system that could help the world’s biggest emitter of heat-trapping carbon dioxide rein in its emissions. A successful carbon offset, or “cap-and-trade,” market could play a big part in cutting China’s emissions - and help the world tackle global warming………………………………………..Full Article: Source

German CO2 emissions in 2014 down 4.1 pct in EU trade scheme

Posted on 25 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

German carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions regulated under the European emissions trading scheme (ETS) in 2014 fell by 4.1 percent to 461.2 million tonnes, according to official national data released on Friday.
The number was published by Germany’s carbon registry DEHSt and underscored the general trend of lower pollution in the EU last year. The bloc’s ETS emissions fell 4.5 percent, helped by the rise of renewable energy and mild weather, which lowers energy demand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Greenhouse gas emissions fall at power plants in EU

Posted on 25 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As part of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), it is estimated that emissions of greenhouse gases from more than 11,000 power plants and manufacturing installations in 2014 were 4.5 percent lower year on year. The latest results, released in the union registry, cover all participating installations across the member states of the European Union, as well as Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
Together, these countries form the European Economic Area. The results showed a very high level of compliance with the EU ETS rules across the board. Airlines showed an increase in verified carbon emissions from their activities between airports located in the EEA. In 2014 this amounted to 54.9 million tons of CO2, an increase of 2.8 percent compared with 53.4 million tons in 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rich world should help emerging countries cut pollution: Glencore chairman

Posted on 22 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Rich countries should help developing countries like India limit their carbon emissions by supporting the building of more expensive but cleaner energy plants, Glencore chairman Tony Hayward said on Thursday. Hayward said that India, where hundreds of millions of people have no access to electricity, is about to build 200 gigawatts of coal-fired power plants, all using conventional technology instead of the less polluting but more expensive supercritical coal-fired plants.
“Rich countries need to support India’s energy transition. We are asking them to pay more for their energy than they would otherwise have to because of what we have done in the past 50 years,” Hayward said at the Business and Climate summit………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EEM buys European operations of the Carbon Trade Exchange Group

Posted on 22 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

European Environmental Markets plc (“EEM”), the environmental commodities exchange operator, has today signed an agreement outlining the terms of the strategic acquisition of Carbon Trade Exchange Ltd (“CTX EU”), the European operations of the Carbon Trade Exchange Group (“CTX Group”), which operates the only global electronic exchange platform in the voluntary carbon markets.
The transaction, which will includes CTX EU’s European clients and European exchange businesses for both Voluntary and Regulated carbon emissions trading, will assist EEM in its goal of becoming the largest and most comprehensive environmental commodity exchange in Europe. The acquisition is earnings enhancing and allows EEM to implement its strategy with immediate effect by delivering services to CTX EU’s European client base………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Expansion for Carbon Trade Exchange Global Voluntary Carbon Market

Posted on 21 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Carbon Trade Exchange (CTX), a global leader in carbon and environmental commodity markets, continues to expand its team and operations announcing the appointment of Rene Velasquez as Global Head of the Voluntary Carbon Market, effective immediately.
Rene brings over eight years of experience in the voluntary carbon market. He has worked for some of the leading global carbon management firms in a senior capacity, having most recently acted as country head in both Australia and the USA for First Climate, an international advisory and offset brokerage company. (Press Release)

Deutsche Bank says German prosecutor won’t probe CO2 emails

Posted on 21 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

German prosecutors have given senior executives at Deutsche Bank an all-clear signal concerning one aspect of an ongoing carbon trading probe, saying it had no reason to open a new investigation into confidential emails, the bank said on Wednesday.
German media have raised critical questions in recent weeks over the degree of management board knowledge in the carbon trading scandal, saying confidential emails showed executives knew of the potential for the bank to be misused………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Confidence in Carbon Market set to continue

Posted on 20 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The renewed confidence in the carbon market seen in 2014 is set to continue throughout 2015 according to the respondents of the annual Point Carbon Market Survey from Thomson Reuters. This year’s results indicate that the increased confidence of 2014 shows no signs of slowing.
2013 saw an all time low for sentiment, with falling prices and doubts about political commitment but things picked up in 2014 and this positive trend looks set to continue in 2015 too. Cap-and-trade is the emission abatement instrument that most respondents expect to see in place in 2020, well ahead of subsidies and taxes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Javadekar raises concern on feasibility of carbon market mechanism

Posted on 20 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A proposal to have a global carbon trading mechanism or carbon tax and a “lean” negotiating draft by October saw India raising eyebrows at the St Petersberg Climate Dialogue that ended without meeting its objective of building a consensus on a draft for the Paris climate conference this winter.
Both German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Francois Hollande spoke of carbon pricing — based on the ‘polluter pay’ principle — finding a place in the Paris agreement to encourage investments in cleaner technologies. “Devise new instruments to get more funds to encourage investments. There is a question of carbon pricing. We can build a world market for carbon,” Hollande said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Backloading slightly reduces EU 2014 C02 permit surplus: Commission

Posted on 19 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A surplus of European Union carbon permits for 2014 has gone down by around 0.03 billion to 2.07 billion due to a reduction in auction volumes through a process known as backloading, the European Commission said on Monday.
The EU’s executive said the cumulative surplus in permits traded under the bloc’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) was slightly reduced to around 2.07 billion for the 2014 compliance year from 2.1 billion. Backloading started last year and reduces the amount of carbon permits to be auctioned on the market. It was designed to reduce the oversupply of permits which has dragged EU carbon prices down to low levels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Emissions trading: 2014 data shows emissions reduction

Posted on 19 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Emissions of greenhouse gases from installations participating in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) are estimated to have decreased by about 4.5% last year, according to the information recorded in the Union Registry.
European Commissioner responsible for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete said: “Even while our economies are getting back in the growth track, emissions continue to decrease. This once again shows that economic growth and climate protection can go hand in hand. This sends a powerful signal ahead of the new global climate deal to be agreed in Paris this December: carbon markets deliver cost-effective reductions. At the same time, the recession continues to have a lasting impact on our carbon market. I therefore warmly welcome the ambitious political deal on the Market Stability Reserve agreed by the Parliament and the Council very recently.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Britain risks losing out in carbon debate if it exits EU

Posted on 18 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Should Britain vote to leave the European Union it would be relegated to the sidelines over important carbon market reforms vital to safeguarding EU environmental targets over the next decade and beyond. The Conservative Party’s victory in general elections this month means Britons will be asked to vote on whether to leave the club of 28 EU nations possibly as early as next year.
That’s some time off, but EU policy and environmental planning is long-term work, with efforts under way already to set targets for 2030 and beyond. Analysts also see the referendum driving high volatility on the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) where carbon trades as analysts weigh the impact on carbon policymaking………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Germany’s Merkel calls for global emissions trading system

Posted on 18 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Saturday for the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (ETS), the bloc’s flagship policy to cut greenhouse gas emissions, to become a global system. Thousands of power plants, factories and airlines in Europe have to surrender an allowance for every tonne of heat-trapping gas emitted.
However, a surplus of allowances has depressed their price on the ETS and has made it cheaper to burn coal than to switch to greener fuels. “This instrument would of course be particularly effective if we could introduce it beyond Europe because then we’d have the same general framework around the world,” Merkel said in her weekly video podcast………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Compensation for indirect carbon costs

Posted on 15 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The compensation regime for indirect carbon costs has received little attention up to now, but this could change as stakeholders ask for an EU-harmonised approach. When designing the EU emissions trading system, protection has been granted to industrial producers to avoid firms relocating where costs from climate regulation are lower, which is known as carbon leakage.
Direct carbon costs, or the actual cost that an industrial firm has to bear to purchase EU allowances for compliance, is partially offset through free allocation. A separate mechanism is in place for indirect carbon costs, or higher power bills resulting from power producers hiking tariffs because of their carbon buying costs…………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU countries adopt CO2 market reserve starting 2019

Posted on 14 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

EU member states on Wednesday adopted the European Commission’s proposed Market Stability Reserve under the EU Emissions Trading System, according to the Latvian presidency of the EU Council. “Member States adopt Market Stability Reserve file to improve operation of carbon market. MSR will be operational from 2019,” the Latvian presidency said Wednesday in a comment posted on its Twitter account.
Latvia is the current holder of the six-month rotating EU presidency. Alexis Dutertre, the French permanent representative to the EU Council, confirmed the adoption of the proposal…………………………………….Full Article: Source

European Union diplomats approve proposal to start carbon market reform in 2019

Posted on 14 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

European Union diplomats have approved a proposal to begin reforms of the bloc’s carbon market in 2019, Latvia, the holder of the EU Presidency, said on Wednesday. The proposal to start operating a so-called Market Stability Reserve (MSR) under the Emissions Trading System (ETS) from Jan. 1, 2019, was adopted at a closed-door meeting of diplomats representing the 28 nations of the EU.
“Member states adopt Market Stability Reserve file to improve operation of carbon market! MSR will be operational from 2019,” the Latvian Presidency tweeted. A qualified majority of EU member states approved a final deal on the MSR, Alexis Dutertre, France’s deputy permanent representative to the EU in Brussels, tweeted…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Veolia CEO says EU companies could agree on robust carbon charge

Posted on 13 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

European companies should be able to reach consensus on ambitious plans for carbon emissions reduction at the business and climate summit in Paris next week, Veolia Chief Executive Antoine Frerot said.
The French water company’s chief said that CEOs of large European businesses that met in Davos in January broadly agreed on the need for a “robust” carbon price and that the 30-40 euro level Veolia supports had been discussed. Frerot said that 30-40 euros per tonne would be a level at which environmental measures such as carbon capture and storage become economically feasible………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Start now for cheaper carbon-free growth - World Bank - TRFN

Posted on 12 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Countries around the world can move their economies onto a path that cuts net emissions of climate-changing gases to zero at an affordable cost but they should start now, the World Bank said.
The latest science says the world needs to reach zero net emissions by 2100 to stabilise global warming at about 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, agreed by governments as the maximum acceptable, the bank said in a report on Monday. Zero net emissions means that no more greenhouse gases would be released into the atmosphere than can be absorbed by natural carbon sinks - oceans, forests and other vegetation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Polish utilities urge impact assessment of EU carbon reform

Posted on 12 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Polish Electricity Association has asked for an impact assessment of proposed European Union carbon market reforms so it can calculate the effects on electricity prices, a letter to the European Commission shows. The EU last week agreed a deal to start reforming the world’s biggest carbon market from Jan. 1, 2019, under a mechanism called the Market Stability Reserve (MSR).
The reserve will take away some of the oversupply of EU carbon permits in the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) and thereby raise prices. Poland, whose economy relies on coal, has been leading a group of countries opposed to any action earlier than the European Commission’s original proposal to start reform in 2021………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU Carbon Still to Overcome Dilution Risk: Vattenfall

Posted on 11 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Europe’s carbon market remains at risk of being undermined by costly renewable-energy subsidies through 2030 even after Tuesday’s accord on a plan to curb a surplus of emission permits, according to Vattenfall AB.
The draft decision by lawmakers to advance the start of a proposed permit reserve by two years to 2019 is only the first step in rebuilding the market’s credibility, said Stefan Dohler, head of markets at Solna, Sweden-based Vattenfall, the largest Nordic utility. While the accord will prevent a year’s worth of surplus permits from hitting the market by 2020, follow-up laws are needed to protect the system for the next 15 years, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US Midwest states eye carbon trading to meet EPA targets

Posted on 08 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Even as some of them fight Washington’s new clean air regulations in court, coal-reliant Midwestern states are asking the Obama administration to provide rules for an emissions trading platform that would help them meet the federal greenhouse gas standards.
Late last month, a coalition of power companies, regulators and green groups known as the Midwestern Power Sector Collaborative (MPSC) asked the Environmental Protection Agency to create ground rules for states that want to trade carbon emissions permits with other states, an option it feels would offer one of the cheapest options to meet the agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU agrees ‘landmark’ carbon market deal

Posted on 08 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A deal to claw back hundreds of millions of surplus allowances from Europe’s emissions trading system (ETS) has been hailed as a watershed by environmentalists, MEPs and renewable industry groups.
Nearly half of the continent’s emissions are covered by the ETS, the world’s largest carbon market, which sets a cap on CO2 output and forces firms to buy or sell allowances to stay within its boundaries. Recession and lavish handouts to industry have contributed to a glut of around 2bn allowances but a new market reserve will now start removing roughly the same amount from the market in 2019, as the Guardian reported in February………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Germany Says Credibility on Line in Lignite Emissions Showdown

Posted on 08 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

German credibility is on the line in a showdown pitting government pledges to cut carbon emissions against lignite-fired power plants in Europe’s biggest economy.
With Germany trailing its self-defined goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions 40 percent by 2020, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government plans to force lignite and coal plants to buy more emissions allowances. Energy companies and industry lobby groups are alarmed over the government’s plans………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon Trade Exchange Launches Platform for Allowances from RGGI

Posted on 07 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Carbon Trade Exchange (CTX) announced the start of a new centralized exchange platform that will allow users to buy and sell allowances from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the first mandatory cap-and-trade program in the US to limit carbon dioxide from the power sector.
CTX RGGI Exchange offers intra-day spot trading of RGGI units and is electronically connected with Wells Fargo. The announcement shows the continued progress CTX has made in less than a year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU agrees ‘landmark’ carbon market deal

Posted on 07 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Emissions trading reform expected to pull the plug on Europe’s carbon credit glut in 2019, but environmentalists warn of need for long-term solution. A deal to claw back hundreds of millions of surplus allowances from Europe’s emissions trading system (ETS) has been hailed as a watershed by environmentalists, MEPs and renewable industry groups.
Nearly half of the continent’s emissions are covered by the ETS, the world’s largest carbon market, which sets a cap on CO2 output and forces firms to buy or sell allowances to stay within its boundaries………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Germany says EU carbon deal to remove 200 million permits a year from 2019

Posted on 07 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Germany expects an EU deal to reform its carbon market to result in the one-off removal of 900 million backloaded permits from the market, plus a further 200 million certificates per year from 2019, an environment ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, correcting comments made earlier by a senior German official.
“According to the compromise, 900 million metric tons (1 metric ton = 1.1023 tons) of CO2 that had been backloaded will go into the reserve. Then from 2019 (there will be) about 200 million metric tons per year to start with,” said the spokesman………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU Agrees to Overhaul Carbon-Trading System

Posted on 06 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bloc to create market-stability reserve in effort to stabilize price of emitting carbon dioxide. The European Union agreed Tuesday to create a stabilization mechanism for its emissions-trading system in an effort to push up the cost of releasing carbon dioxide into the air and encourage investment in low-carbon technologies.
The EU’s cap-and-trade system for CO2 emissions has been undermined by a severe drop in prices in recent years, partly because of the decline in industrial activity amid the economic crisis and an over-allocation of emission allowances when the word’s first carbon market was set up in 2005………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU-Swiss carbon market link raises fears of diluted climate ambition

Posted on 06 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Carbon Market Watch calls for safeguards as emissions trading pact sets precedent for China and South Korea tie-ins. An EU-Swiss carbon market link is due to be agreed by the end of the year, officials said on Tuesday.
Carbon Market Watch warned the tie-up will dilute the EU’s climate ambition unless it is coupled with deeper emissions cuts. With China, South Korea and US states also developing emissions trading systems (ETSs), the think-tank urged policymakers to bring in safeguards for potential future links. “The impact of a link with the Swiss ETS is relatively small,” said policy analyst Femke de Jong………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Europe’s top carbon emitters swap 255 million UN offsets for EU permits

Posted on 05 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Firms in Europe’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) have swapped a total of 255 million U.N.-backed carbon offsets for European Union emissions allowances (EUAs) from April 2013-2014, data published by the European Commission showed on Monday.
Traders in the EU carbon market watch the swap figure because it can indicate both the current supply of EUAs and the future demand for offsets. The data was due be published at 1200 CEST on Monday but was delayed due to technical reasons, the Commission said on its website………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How would climate change regulations help now? Study seeks answer.

Posted on 05 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For years, the debate about efforts to find the best way to rein in greenhouse gas emissions has wrestled with a generation gap: The worst effects of climate change are projected to occur in the distant future over a wide area, but the costs to combat it will be very local and immediate.
A study released Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change is one attempt to bridge that gap. The conclusions suggest that efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants in the United States could deliver important regional and local public health benefits………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Can businesses help banish the shadow of black carbon?

Posted on 04 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While carbon dioxide is currently the dirty word of climate change, another pollutant — black carbon — is chugging out of tailpipes and charcoal grills. A key component of soot, black carbon is pure carbon that results from incomplete combustion. It doesn’t stay in the atmosphere for centuries as CO2 does, but it’s deadly for those who breathe it, and it contributes to climate change when it settles on reflective surfaces such as glaciers.
Its danger is so clear and present that Congress actually came together in 2009 to regulate it in the United States. But while these measures have helped reduce black carbon in the U.S., the pollutant remains pervasive elsewhere in the world and disproportionally affects the poor………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU nations agree carbon market reforms should start in 2019-sources

Posted on 30 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

European Union member states reached a provisional agreement that carbon market reforms should begin on Jan. 1, 2019, at closed-door talks on Wednesday, paving the way for a further round of negotiations next month, diplomats said.
Member states have been arguing for weeks over when a reform referred to as the Market Stability Reserve (MSR) should be introduced to remove some of the surplus allowances that have depressed permit prices on the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). The ETS is meant to be central to the EU’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions, but oversupply following recession has meant the price of permits is so low, it is very cheap to burn coal, the most carbon-intensive of the fossil fuels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Cap-and-trade plan just another Liberal cash grab

Posted on 30 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The more we learn about Premier Kathleen Wynne’s cap-and-trade plan, the more apparent it becomes it’s just another multi-billion-dollar Liberal cash grab. Here’s why: The purpose of carbon pricing, or so we’re told, is not to raise more money for governments, but to change human behaviour by getting us to consume less.
That’s why any credible carbon pricing system raises taxes on consumption (in effect, a broadly based sales tax) and then returns every dollar raised to the public in income tax cuts. The purpose is to encourage people to consume less, since consumption leads to increased greenhouse gas emissions because fossil fuel energy is required to produce virtually all goods and services today………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon scheme ‘must look overseas’

Posted on 29 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Abbott government faces growing business pressure to open its Direct Action carbon-emissions-reduction scheme to trade in international abatement permits as a way of cutting the nation’s climate-change costs. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network, which represents emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries, have backed international trading to minimise costs of carbon abatement.
They join the Australian Industry Group and a range of ­climate-change activists who also advocate trade in inter­national permits. The Climate Change Authority has also suggested the purchase of inter­national permits could dramatically cut the costs of Australia’s emissions-reduction efforts………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How will Paris approach carbon pricing?

Posted on 29 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As the World Bank and others ramp up the discussion on carbon pricing, heads are turning towards Paris with thoughts on how the issue will be incorporated into the expected COP21 global climate deal. I have said many times in the past that unless a carbon price makes its way into the whole global energy system, then its success in bringing down emissions is far from assured.
While local carbon pricing wins will appear, the global effort could be undermined by a lack of global coverage. This is true of other policy approaches as well, but in the case of carbon pricing there is the significant benefit of economic efficiency. For me, the signs so far aren’t great, with the text that came out of the Geneva ADP meeting showing few signs of tackling this important issue………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New EU proposal suggests Jan. 1, 2019 start for carbon market reform

Posted on 28 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A new proposal from Latvia, holder of the EU presidency, puts forward a date of Jan. 1, 2019 to start reforms of the Emissions Trading System (ETS), according to EU sources, as part of efforts to seal a compromise deal.
The latest proposal says a Market Stability Reserve, to hold surplus carbon allowances, should be set up in 2018 and start operating from Jan. 1, 2019, two years earlier than the European Commission’s original proposal. It also says unallocated allowances, surplus because of factory closures, should be transferred to the reserve in 2020. The EU sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the date was circulated in a proposal from the Latvian presidency on Friday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Greens reveal post-2020 emissions targets

Posted on 28 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Australian Greens want the nation to slash carbon emissions by up to 50 per cent by 2025 and be carbon neutral in 25 years. The party laid out its post-2020 emissions reduction targets on Monday ahead of this year’s United Nations climate change summit, where it is hoped a global agreement can be reached.
The targets are more ambitious than those proposed by the government’s independent climate body, the Climate Change Authority, which wants a 30 per cent cut on 2000 levels by 2025. That target raised government eyebrows, with Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s office labelling the recommendation the “largest reduction in emissions intensity in the world”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Labour Party threat to UK’s carbon price support emerges

Posted on 28 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The UK’s Labour Party is the most likely major political party to banish the country’s controversial carbon tax on power generators if its wins the forthcoming general election on 7 May, according to a leading UK energy policy expert.
Wholesale power prices for affected delivery periods jumped when the policy was announced. Consequently its repeal would see an immediate tanking of the market as power generation costs for fossil-fuelled producers plummeted. The carbon price floor (CPF), which puts in place a set penalty for carbon emissions from power producers, was introduced by the government to boost investment in low-carbon power generation such as renewables and nuclear………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Asia’s environment: In need of a green revolution

Posted on 24 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Asian economic miracle has lifted millions out of poverty, but at terrible cost. Deforestation and foul water are just two of the insults to nature resulting from breathless expansion. Air pollution in Beijing has been described by the American embassy as “crazy bad”. Asia is one of the biggest contributors to global warming.
Many blame economic growth, and the market forces and corporations that drive it, for this. So it is refreshing to see a clear-headed argument set out by Mark Clifford, a former editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post, that markets and greenery can go together. Asian companies, he says, are ready to clean up…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Direct Action four times more efficient than ALP’s carbon tax

Posted on 24 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Environment Minister Greg Hunt may just have won the next election for the Coalition. He is going to cut Australia’s carbon emissions four times more than Labor did with its carbon tax at 1 per cent of the price per tonne of emissions cut under the carbon tax. He is now publicly confident Australia will “breeze past” its 2020 target of cutting emissions by 5 per cent on 2000 levels.
This target is more ambitious than it looks. It involves a 13 per cent cut on 2005 levels and, given Australia’s rate of population growth — almost unique among developed nations — it’s a very respectable performance…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Authority calls for emissions cuts, but plays down the opportunities

Posted on 23 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia should cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2000 levels by 2025, according to a draft recommendation released by the Climate Change Authority today. Australia will need to put a solid emissions target for 2025 on the table for international credibility on climate change. The Authority’s recommendation is justified on principle but will likely be unacceptable to the government.
Meanwhile the Authority gives surprisingly little heed to the opportunities for Australia of a low-emissions economy, instead highlighting international emissions trading. Under the United Nations climate negotiations, all countries are called on to submit an emissions commitment for the period after 2020 in the coming months. The United States, European Union and some other countries have already announced their targets and China has announced the outlines of its contribution……………………………………Full Article: Source

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