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Commodities Briefing - Category | Environmental Trading more

On carbon, credit all leaders for failing us

Posted on 28 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Regardless of which party wins the Oct. 19 federal election, Canadians can look forward to being ripped off for billions of dollars in the international carbon trading market. Carbon trading is intrinsic to both NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s carbon pricing plans, since both would use cap-and-trade schemes, supposedly to reduce Canada’s industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
But even Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives — the least worst of the three major parties on this issue — have proposed buying international carbon credits to meet the government’s emission reduction targets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Recent Studies Provide Examples of Emissions Trading Successes, Failures

Posted on 28 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The emissions trading program in the northeastern United States—the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)—is responsible for about half the region’s emissions reductions—an amount far greater than reductions achieved in the rest of the country.
The study in the journal Energy Economics determined that even when controlling for other factors—the natural gas boom, the recession, and environmental regulations—emissions would have been 24 percent higher in participating states without RGGI (subscription)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon-trading Scheme results in release of Tons of greenhouse gases, harms Climate: Study

Posted on 27 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A carbon-trading scheme, backed by the United Nations, was planned to curb global warming in Europe, but instead of solving the problem, it has been found to be releasing over half a billion additional tons of greenhouse gases, a new report found. The report released by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) discovered a number of problems of carbon offsets. According to the report, it found problems out of 872 million offsets, 75% have issues. Researcher found that lack of oversight has been found the main issue.
While talking to Al Jazeera, Anja Kollmuss, one of the authors of the study, said there are some rules that are needed to be implemented, but to do, there is a need of the political will. According to the researchers, the scheme, Joint Implementation (JI) carbon-trading scheme, has undermined global climate action………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon credit fraud no laughing matter

Posted on 27 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Regardless of which party wins the Oct. 19 federal election, Canadians can look forward to being ripped off for billions of dollars in the international carbon trading market. Carbon trading is intrinsic to both NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s carbon pricing plans, since both would use cap-and-trade schemes, supposedly to reduce Canada’s industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
But even Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives — the least worst of the three major parties on this issue — have proposed buying international carbon credits to meet the government’s emission reduction targets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon trading fails to reduce emissions, harms climate, study says

Posted on 26 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A United Nations-backed carbon-trading scheme in Europe, originally meant to combat global warming, has instead resulted in the release of more than half a billion additional tons of greenhouse gases, according to a new report. The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) report released Monday found significant problems with the efficacy of carbon offsets.
The researchers found issues with 75 percent of 872 million offsets, and point to a lack of oversight as the main problem. “We know what rules are needed and then we need the political will to implement them,” Anja Kollmuss, one of the authors of the study, told Al Jazeera. “And so far this has been lacking.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Carbon credits undercut climate change actions says report

Posted on 25 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The vast majority of carbon credits generated by Russia and Ukraine did not represent cuts in emissions, according to a new study. The authors say that offsets created under a UN scheme “significantly undermined” efforts to tackle climate change.
The credits may have increased emissions by 600 million tonnes. In some projects, chemicals known to warm the climate were created and then destroyed to claim cash………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon-credit scheme linked to increased greenhouse-gas production

Posted on 25 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Factories in Russia increased their production of industrial waste products and then claimed millions of carbon credits for destroying them after an international trading scheme went into effect. Evidence published in Nature Climate Change reveals that several Russian chemical plants increased production of highly potent greenhouse-gas waste to “unprecedented levels” after they could reap financial benefits from their disposal.
Carbon credits grant nations the right to emit gases that contribute to global warming. They are traded internationally on carbon markets such as the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme, and their monetary value is determined by how much buyers are willing to pay for them………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The global scam called man-made climate change

Posted on 24 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The fact is, there has been global warming, but the contribution of human-generated carbon dioxide is necessarily so minuscule as to be nearly undetectable. Here’s why: Carbon dioxide, considered the main vector for human-caused global warming, is some 0.038 per cent of the atmosphere [1] a trace gas. Water vapour varies from 0 per cent to four per cent [2], and should easily average one per cent or more [3] near the Earth’s surface, where the greenhouse effect would be most important, and is about three times more effective [4] a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
So water vapour is at least 25 times more prevalent and three times more effective; that makes it at least 75 times more important to the greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide [5]. The total contribution of carbon dioxide to the greenhouse effect is therefore 0.013 or less………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hubei, China’s 2nd largest carbon market reports 100% compliance rate

Posted on 24 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hubei province, China’s second largest carbon market, reported a 100 percent compliance rate in its first trading year, thanks to a decision by the local authority to postpone the deadline by which firms had to surrender their permits. All 138 companies obligated to cut their CO2 emissions under the Hubei scheme had complied in full by this week, the official local newspaper Hubei Daily reported.
The deadline was originally set for May 30, but was postponed to July 10 as regulators dealt with complaints from firms that they were being treated unfairly. The China Hubei Emissions Exchange said 27 companies missed the July deadline, but they were now all fully complied………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BP lobbied against EU support for clean energy to favour gas, documents reveal

Posted on 21 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

BP was part of oil and gas lobby that successfully undermined EU renewable energy targets and subsidies in favour of gas as a climate fix in 2011. The fossil fuel giant BP helped spur a concerted industry push to curb EU policy support for renewable energies such as wind and solar in favour of gas, the Guardian has learned.
The European commission last year outlawed most subsidies for clean energy from 2017, and ended nationally-binding renewable targets after 2020, despite opposition from environmentalists and clean energy firms. The policy decisions were however requested by BP, Shell, Statoil and Total, and by trade associations representing a plethora of oil and gas majors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Merkel urges Brazil to protect Amazon rainforest

Posted on 21 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Brazil and Germany threw their weight Thursday behind the push for a global climate agreement later this year and stressed the vital importance of defending the Amazon jungle from deforestation. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and her German counterpart Angela Merkel issued the joint declaration in Brasilia, where the German chancellor described Brazil as “key” to controlling greenhouse gases.
Rousseff called climate change “one of the great issues of the 21st century” and said the joint declaration reflected their “commitment toward the success” of the UN summit planned for December in Paris. With its giant but vulnerable jungle and history of large-scale deforestation, Brazil is a central player in the talks where governments will try to strike a landmark deal on reducing damaging carbon emissions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Climate philanthropist George Soros invests millions in coal

Posted on 20 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Billionaire has previously funded renewable energy and low-carbon initiatives and has called coal a ‘lethal bullet’ for climate change. Billionaire climate philanthropist George Soros invested more than $2m (£1.3m) in struggling coal giants Peabody Energy and Arch Coal in recent months, despite having once called the fuel “lethal” to the climate.
Filings with the Securities and Exchange commission show that between April and June this year Soros Fund Management (SFM) bought more than 1m shares in Peabody ($2.25m), the world’s largest private coal company, and 500,000 shares in Arch ($188,000)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Economists’ concerns with emissions reduction target not what you’d expect

Posted on 20 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Tony Abbott says he will never put the environment ahead of the economy, but it is impossible to segregate the two. In case you haven’t noticed, a lot of economists are very concerned about Tony Abbott’s choice of target for the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, to be taken to the international climate change conference at Paris in December.
But if you think that means they believe Abbott’s target is too tough and will do too much damage to the economy, you’ve got the wrong end of the stick. Most would be likely to believe the target should be more ambitious, and few would be concerned that such a target would do significant economic harm. Conventional economic modelling almost invariably shows the loss of economic growth would be surprisingly small, almost trivial………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Latin American Currencies Are Hit by Rate Fears and China’s Yuan Move

Posted on 19 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Currencies in major Latin American countries are tumbling in the face of falling commodity prices, a sluggish growth outlook in China and fears of an imminent rate increase by the Federal Reserve. This year, the Colombian peso has lost 21% of its value against the dollar, hitting a record low, while the Chilean peso and Mexican peso have depreciated by 12% and 10%, respectively.
Latin America has been at the forefront of a global selloff in emerging markets ahead of an expected increase in U.S. interest rates as the American economy improves. With rates low in the U.S., investors had flocked to emerging markets, where yields were higher and assets denominated in foreign currencies held out the promise of potential profits………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A currency skirmish that was not made in China

Posted on 19 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There was a time when young beggars in the countryside outside Jakarta shunned dollars in favour of Japanese yen. Potential customers in Indonesia, meanwhile, shunned Japanese imports because they were so expensive. If your prosperity depends on finding foreign markets for its products, a strong currency is a curse.
Last week China became the latest country to counter that curse with the charm of competitive devaluation. Beijing tweaked the formula used each day to fix the value of the renminbi against other currencies, triggering the biggest one-day currency move since the mid-1990s. Some analysts said other countries, particularly in Asia, may be forced to follow suit — perhaps setting up a cascade of tit-for-tat devaluations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Economists’ concerns with emissions reduction target not what you’d expect

Posted on 19 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Tony Abbott says he will never put the environment ahead of the economy, but it is impossible to segregate the two. In case you haven’t noticed, a lot of economists are very concerned about Tony Abbott’s choice of target for the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, to be taken to the international climate change conference at Paris in December.
But if you think that means they believe Abbott’s target is too tough and will do too much damage to the economy, you’ve got the wrong end of the stick. Much of our economic activity involves misusing, overusing and abusing the natural environment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Canada’s carbon moment has arrived

Posted on 19 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As Canadians prepare to vote in an upcoming federal election, it’s time to reassess the country’s economic prospects, once touted as the strong suit of Stephen Harper’s government. For almost a decade, Canadians have been told massive expansion of Alberta’s oil sands would be the engine of economic growth as the country rode a wave of soaring oil prices during the government’s early years.
Some question the wisdom of building an economy on the foundation of a single resource. And the Prime Minister’s strategy of making Canada an oil-based energy superpower has led instead to a made-in-Canada recession, with a dramatic implosion in capital spending in the country’s oil patch………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Obama’s climate plan is another half-baked carbon trading scheme

Posted on 18 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The US Clean Power Plan puts a national limit on greenhouse gas emissions for the first time. Despite a few critics, environmentalists have on the whole reacted positively. Yet, as societies around the world are already struggling with the effects of climate change, is Obama’s plan ambitious enough?
As he acknowledged himself, “there is such a thing as being too late when it comes to climate change”. We suggest precisely that: his plan is too little, given that it has arrived so late. The Clean Power Plan aims for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with coal, oil, and gas-fired power plants by 32% below 2005 levels by 2030………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How U.S. Climate Plan Can Follow China and Europe—Or Not

Posted on 17 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The United States aims to lead other countries with its climate plan. Yet one of its key but lesser-known tools, carbon trading, has already taken root across the globe. In the last decade, 17 “cap and trade” systems—covering 35 countries and a dozen states or provinces—have sprung up to curb global warming. They cap total emissions of heating-trapping carbon dioxide but allow emitters to trade pollution allowances.
Such a trading system gets new life in President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan—in somewhat backdoor fashion. Five years ago, Obama failed to get a controversial cap-and-trade bill passed in Congress. Now, states can opt to launch a market or join existing ones in California and the Northeast………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Climate Change Authority head says Coalition’s $600bn carbon bill claim ‘weird’

Posted on 17 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The independent Climate Change Authority is engaged in a public war of words with the environment minister, Greg Hunt, over the government’s assertion that “Labor’s climate policy” would impose a “$600bn carbon bill”, saying the claim is “weird” and “misleading”.
The prime minister on Tuesday unveiled a new greenhouse gas reduction goal of reducing emissions by between 26% and 28% of 2005 levels by 2030. One day before that announcement, the Daily Telegraph revisited modelling done in 2013 for the CCA of a 40 to 60% emissions reduction target, in a front-page story headlined “ALP’s $600bn carbon bill”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Seven Deutsche Bank staff charged over carbon trading scandal

Posted on 14 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Frankfurt prosecutors have indicted seven current and one former employee of Deutsche Bank for conspiring to evade tax in the trading of carbon emission certificates more than five years ago. Prosecutors did not name Deutsche Bank on Thursday but sources familiar with the matter identified it as the institution involved.
The bank’s Frankfurt headquarters were raided by around 500 police and tax inspectors in late 2012, related to investigations into the carbon trading market. Frankfurt prosecutors have investigated more than two dozen current or former employees at the bank, Germany’s largest, including co-CEO Juergen Fitschen and former finance chief Stefan Krause, who had signed the lender’s tax declarations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Emissions reduction fund: Shorten says Labor government would scrap scheme

Posted on 14 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bill Shorten will “axe” Tony Abbott’s emissions reduction fund if he wins next year’s federal election, gaining budget savings of up to $4.3bn over a decade. Shorten will promise to honour contracts already signed with polluters by the Coalition but will then abandon the scheme, which he describes as “a waste of money built on one counter-productive idea: giving great wads of taxpayer cash to big polluters to keep polluting”.
The emissions reduction fund (ERF) offers government funds to companies or organisations willing to reduce carbon pollution through a competitive grants scheme. It was allocated $2.5bn up to 2020 and the Coalition announced this week it would continue to get about $200m a year between 2020 and 2030………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia to remain climate laggard amid policy vacuum: Russell

Posted on 13 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The only thing that’s completely predictable about carbon emissions policies is that nobody will be satisfied. The latest case in point is Australia, where the conservative government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday announced a target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent of 2005 by 2030.
The target will form the basis of Australia’s submission to global climate talks in Paris at the end of the year, and Abbott hailed the goal as meeting both the requirement of maintaining strong economic growth and strengthening action to mitigate climate change………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Emissions target: lack of detailed policy a major concern, say business leaders

Posted on 13 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

‘Trying to cost what they have on the table is really just grasping at straws. We need to start filling in the detail,’ says head of Australian Industry Group. Business leaders have said Tony Abbott has no detailed policies to meet his new climate change target and fear the uncertainty of the current “blank sheet of paper” on greenhouse policy could harm the economy and push up power prices.
The prime minister is arguing he can achieve the target to cut Australia’s emissions by 26% by 2030 more cheaply than Labor, even though neither major party has outlined a detailed or costed climate policy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ALP to reveal emissions target by election

Posted on 12 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Federal Labor won’t be pinned down on a post-2020 target for cutting carbon pollution but leader Bill Shorten promises Australians will know where the party stands by the next federal election. The government on Tuesday announced it would aim to reduce emissions by up to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.
While Labor argues the target is inadequate to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius, its environment spokesman Mark Butler says the opposition it still consulting about a target of its own. “The benchmark for us is the commitment that our generation has made to our children and our grandchildren’s generation,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New target tests emissions scheme

Posted on 12 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With a more ambitious emissions reduction target, the differences between Tony Abbott’s emissions reduction fund and Julia Gillard’s emissions trading scheme will start to matter. “Under this government,” says Prime Minister Tony Abbott, “Australia will continue to make a strong and responsible contribution to the global effort to address climate change, but we’ll do this without sacrificing jobs or prosperity.”
But how? Abbott, who flayed Julia Gillard for imposing a carbon tax, would like voters to think his program of emissions purchases can reduce emissions at no cost to consumers or the economy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia to announce target to cut carbon emissions

Posted on 11 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia is expected to announce on Tuesday that it plans to cut carbon emissions by at least 26 percent of 2005 levels by 2030, a target that will leave the country trailing most other advanced economies.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s cabinet agreed on a target of 26 to 28 percent in a meeting overnight, The Australian newspaper reported citing unnamed sources. The level is far below recommendations by its own Climate Change Authority. The cabinet room decision will be put to the wider party room of the ruling conservative Liberal and National Party coalition on Tuesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Tony Abbott cuts ambitions on carbon

Posted on 11 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Climate Council’s Tim Flannery has said the government’s draft proposals to cut Australian carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 was “vastly inadequate” and would leave other world leaders at the Paris climate talks “very disappointed”.
“Over the next few days, there will be a lot of spin to try and confuse Australians into thinking that we are doing more than we actually are. But no amount of smoke and mirrors will cover up the fact that an emissions reduction target of 40 per cent on 2000 levels by 2030 is the bare minimum and this target is far below that,” Professor Flannery said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australians fear Coalition is not taking climate change seriously, poll shows

Posted on 10 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australians are deeply worried the Abbott government is underestimating the importance of climate change, new polling shows, as cabinet debates crucial long-term targets for greenhouse gas reductions.
The annual polling by the Climate Institute thinktank reveals Australians overwhelmingly support wind and solar energy – as the Coalition seeks to limit support for both – and see it as inevitable that coal-fired power stations will have to be phased out and replaced………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Call for delay in review of NZ’s emissions trading scheme

Posted on 10 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A climate change lawyer is recommending the substantive part of a review of New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme be held until after a major international climate change conference scheduled for the end of the year. In July, Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser confirmed a long-awaited ETS review would begin in 2015.
Bell Gully partner Simon Watt said the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which opens in Paris on November 30, could set entirely new parameters. Aimed at setting post-2020 emissions targets internationally, some reports have described the conference as the most important climate change event since the Kyoto Protocol in 1997………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Climate change and the president: Hotter than August

Posted on 07 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

“I am convinced that no challenge poses a greater threat to our future, to future generations, than a changing climate,” declared Barack Obama on August 3rd. The president’s announcement of America’s first national standards to limit carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants had to be moved indoors to escape the sweltering weather. The response from Mr Obama’s political opponents was even hotter.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, described the new rules as, “a triumph of ideology over sound policy and honest compassion”. He encouraged states to ignore them. In political terms, Mr Obama’s new rules are momentous. As far as their likely impact on the climate or on America’s energy sector are concerned, they are more modest than the claims made by either side would suggest………………………………………..Full Article: Source

White House Unveils Carbon Plan

Posted on 07 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It’s the moral responsibility of our generation to do something to mitigate this climate disruption for present and future generations. “The United States is leading by example today, showing the world that climate action is an incredible economic opportunity to build a stronger foundation for growth”, said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “This is our moment to get something right and get something right for our kids“.
New Jersey must cut its carbon emissions by almost 26 percent in the next 15 years. The final rule establishes guidelines for states to follow in developing and implementing their plans, including requirements that vulnerable communities have a seat at the table with other stakeholders. “The way they want to do it is by reducing coal”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Don’t Like the Clean Power Plan? Try Cap-and-Trade

Posted on 06 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Obama administration offers a carbon trading system as an option for states that don’t want to comply with emissions cuts. If enough states “just say no” to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, refusing to impose limits on the carbon dioxide emissions of electric utilities within their borders, that could hasten the emergence of an interstate cap-and-trade regime designed by the federal government.
This approach is spelled out in a proposed federal implementation plan published by the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday, alongside the final regulations that for the first time govern carbon pollution from power plants that burn fossil fuels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How should we define success for the EPA Clean Power Plan?

Posted on 06 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

On August 3, the United States crossed a major threshold in the effort to mitigate climate change. With the release of the final Clean Power Plan, the nation’s fleet of existing power plants now face mandatory limits on how much CO2 they can emit – a key contributor to global climate change.
With congressional action to address climate change unlikely in the foreseeable future, the Obama administration is implementing the new emissions limits pursuant to existing authority under the Clean Air Act (CAA). The rule is complicated and controversial, and it can be difficult to wade through the talking points to evaluate the merits of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) actions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Don’t Like Obama’s Carbon Plan? Fine, Here’s Cap and Trade

Posted on 05 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Republican governors who boycott the Obama administration’s new power-plant regulations may instead get an offer they can’t refuse: a cap-and-trade system many of them also oppose.
Five years after Republicans in Congress shot down President Barack Obama’s plan for carbon trading, his administration unveiled rules to combat climate change. They include a provision for carbon trading, which Republicans had criticized as a government intrusion in the workings of the free market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EPA proposes carbon trading to deal with reluctant states

Posted on 05 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Republican governors who refuse to comply with President Obama’s new climate plan might find themselves facing a more detested option: cap and trade. In addition to the Clean Power Plan released yesterday, EPA also publicized a proposal revealing how it will handle states that refuse to submit their own plans for emission reductions from the power sector.
The agency plans to impose a federally enforced carbon trading program. It would fall predominantly on conservative states. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has encouraged Republican governors to defy EPA’s rules, and a handful have vowed to decline to submit proposals………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Obama climate plan stirs cap and trade from deep sleep

Posted on 04 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Dreams that a cap-and-trade market could become a force for lowering carbon emissions died in the U.S. Senate in 2010, scuttled by politics and a bad economy. On Monday, cap and trade was revived by the president, acting alone.
President Barack Obama’s climate plan embraces cap-and-trade markets as a way to cut power plant emissions blamed for warming the planet. It rewards 11 states in the U.S. Northeast and California that already have carbon markets by giving them credit for their early actions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia’s leaders ‘wilfully blind’ about climate change, says former NAB chief

Posted on 04 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia’s political leaders are “wilfully blind” to the challenge of climate change, with the country at risk from an “economically reckless” reliance upon fossil fuels, the former head of the National Australia Bank has warned.
Cameron Clyne, who was chief executive of NAB from 2009 until he stood down last year, said he doesn’t “think any of us have grasped quite how revolutionary” the emergence of renewable energy will be, warning that Australia cannot continue to be wedded to carbon-heavy fuels such as coal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Barack Obama plan pushes US states towards carbon pricing

Posted on 03 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

President Barack Obama’s climate goals are prompting US states to explore the use of carbon markets as a way to comply — an approach that will be resisted by Republicans. The final version of the administration’s plan, to be announced on Monday, is central to Mr Obama’s legacy and commitments the US has made in the run-up to a Paris meeting in December on an international climate accord.
In a shift from earlier proposals, the initiative, known as the clean power plan, will give states more flexibility than was envisaged a year ago to engage in interstate carbon trading to meet federally set targets. Gina McCarthy, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, the regulator behind the proposals, told reporters: “This is an opportunity to allow states to choose many different paths towards trading.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Biggest polluters able to increase emissions under Direct Action – study

Posted on 03 August 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

‘Safeguard mechanism’ in Coalition policy is lenient and ineffective, says RepuTex analysis firm, making Direct Action ‘untenable’ in its current form. Australia’s 20 biggest polluters will be able to significantly increase their greenhouse gas output despite being covered by the Abbott government’s so-called “safeguard mechanism” and will wipe out most of the emission reductions the government intends to buy from other sectors, according to new analysis which brands the Coalition policy “untenable”.
The environment minister, Greg Hunt, says the “safeguard mechanism” – to be imposed on 150 big emitters and announced in detail later this month – will ensure that emissions reductions purchased through the $2.55bn emissions reduction fund (ERF) from things like avoided land clearing or energy efficiency are not displaced by a significant rise in emissions elsewhere in the economy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Calpine expects CO2 rule to help gas fleet

Posted on 31 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Calpine says the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) forthcoming Clean Power Plan will provide a strategic advantage for its natural gas fleet given the likely retirement of baseload coal-fired capacity. Calpine is bullish in its outlook for gas dispatch throughout its markets, especially if the EPA plan creates a carbon price for coal generators. The company operates a merchant fleet in California, Texas and the PJM Interconnection totaling 27,00MW,
“We are hopeful the [EPA] rule and the federal implementation plan will have the option of a market-based approach to CO2 reductions, which will effectively put a price on carbon in many of our markets,” Calpine chief executive Thad Hill said today. “The shift away from baseload [coal] continues and we are on the right side of history.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Investors prepare for a carbon-constrained world

Posted on 31 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The upcoming global climate change summit in Paris and falling coal prices offer the latest reminder for investors to start thinking about the potential impact future carbon policy changes will have on where they park their money.
While the issue has not received a lot of public attention, fund managers have been thinking for years about ways to take advantage of future climate change policies such as the introduction of a carbon price. It is a more nuanced debate than the contentious issue of ethical investing, which grabbed a lot of headlines last year when the Australian National University blacklisted seven companies including Santos and Oil Search………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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

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