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EU agrees watered-down deal on aviation carbon emissions

Posted on 06 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Environmentalists urge rejection of law that will exempt long-haul flights from paying for emissions until 2016. The European Union on Tuesday reached a preliminary deal on a law that will exempt long-haul flights from paying for carbon emissions until 2016, EU sources said.
The deal is a further weakening of the bloc’s stance following immense international pressure and threats of a trade war. The sources said negotiators from the European Parliament, the Commission, the EU executive, and the EU presidency, representing member states, had tentatively agreed that an existing suspension of EU law for intercontinental flights should be extended………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU carbon senses a renaissance

Posted on 05 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Emission Trading System is set to change radically on March 12, after EU ministers approved last week a regulation to delay 900 million carbon permits from 2014-16 to 2019-20.
The measure known as ‘backloading’ will tighten the market balance significantly, after a period of abundant supply of emission allowances (EUAs) and dwindling carbon prices. EUAs have already gained 40 per cent to €7/t since the start of the year, in anticipation of the auction curbs. Prices are likely to rise further once backloading begins, as it will more than halve the supply of new carbon permits………………………………………..Full Article: Source

European Union carbon trading fix goes into effect

Posted on 04 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Next week, the EU’s fix to its flagging cap-and-trade program finally goes into effect. For years, the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (cap-and-trade) has been under attack because the supply versus demand for pollution permits was so out of whack.
The program is the EU’s signature and pioneering way to meet its climate change targets: 20% lower emissions from 1990 levels by 2020. Because emissions were down during the recession and permits were initially given out for free, there has been way more supply than demand. As a result, the cost to emit one ton of carbon dropped as low as EUR 2.41 last year, providing little incentive to lower emissions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK isn’t alone in tackling carbon emissions

Posted on 04 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Opponents of the UK’s climate policies often argue that green measures are forcing the country to cut emissions faster than its competitors. In fact, new analysis says the UK isn’t acting alone.
At least 62 countries around the world are moving ahead with laws to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - and every major economic power has taken some kind of action. Two new papers lay out international progress on emissions legislation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK budget 2014: CBI calls for frozen carbon price floor

Posted on 03 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Freezing carbon charges and levies on flying are among the potentially high carbon policies to be advocated by the CBI today, ahead of this month’s Budget. The business group’s new formal Budget Submission urges chancellor George Osborne to “prioritise measures to boost business investment and trade” when he addresses Parliament on 19 March.
In a letter to Osborne dated 18 February, the CBI says the urgent need to invest in new energy infrastructure must be balanced against the costs borne by businesses and households, specifically highlighting how UK firms are currently at a competitive disadvantage due to the Carbon Price Floor………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IEA says system transformation key to low-carbon future

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

International Energy Agency said expanding the use of renewable energy resources like wind and solar requires transforming the system to be cost effective. IEA published a 238-page book Wednesday that said technologies like wind power and solar photovoltaics are “crucial” to a future energy mix, though there are “unique” questions remaining in terms of cost and reliability.
“Electricity generation from both technologies is constrained by the varying availability of wind and sunshine,” the IEA said. “This can make it challenging to maintain the necessary balance of electricity supply and consumption at all times.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

America’s first carbon-trading program can boast some impressive numbers

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

How do you turn $1 billion into $2 billion, all the while helping to slow down global warming? By capping carbon dioxide pollution and charging for emissions permits, then plowing the revenues into clean energy and energy-efficiency programs.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a carbon-trading program that covers nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, charged power plants about $1 billion for the right to pollute the climate from 2009 to 2012. Of that, $707 million has so far been invested into green programs, and $93 million has been transferred into states’ general funds, according to a new RGGI report………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s smog suffocating agriculture?

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s air pollution is putting the country’s agriculture sector at risk, experts say. Smog has blanketed Beijing for at least a week, and much of north and central China — about one-seventh of the country — was also covered in smog last weekend, state-run news agency Xinhua reports.
On Wednesday evening, PM2.5 levels — the measurement of air pollution particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, which pose health risks — averaged 446 micrograms per cubic meter over a 24-hour period, readings from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing showed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU plan to cut supply of carbon permits passes into law

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A plan to prop up EU carbon prices was published in the official journal of the European Union on Wednesday, enacting into law the so-called backloading measure that keeps on track the European Commission’s aim to allow the withdrawal of a maximum 400 million permits this year.
The plan involves cutting the supply of permits to be sold under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in an effort to incentivize more investment in low carbon technologies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia should cut emissions by 19 pct to play fair role

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia should reduce emissions by 19 per cent from 2000 levels by the end of the decade – a significantly stronger target than the current pledge of a 5 per cent cut – to play its part in stopping dangerous global warming, expert advice to the government says.
A review by the independent Climate Change Authority has also found Australia should then dramatically ramp up its efforts in the following decade through a target to cut 40 to 60 per cent of its emissions by 2030………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global carbon market to reach record volumes by 2016

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In 2014, the value of the globally-traded carbon market will rise by two thirds from 2013 reach €64bn, (€39bn in 2013), with volume increasing by 3 percent to 9.6 Gt CO2e, according to analysis by Thomson Reuters Point Carbon, the leading provider of market intelligence, news, analysis, forecasting and advisory services for the energy and environmental markets.
Most of this year’s growth by value is expected to come from the 8.3 Gt EU Allowances (EUAs) that will change hands. This 3 percent volume increase (up from 8 Gt last year) will produce value growth of 70 percent; generating both the largest volumes and value globally………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Backloading carbon market fix poised to become law

Posted on 26 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Long drawn out plans to revive Europe’s ailing carbon market could finally become law tomorrow, after EU ministers backed plans to withold millions of emissions allowances. All three of the EU’s law making bodies have now backed a temporary fix to the Emissions Trading System, meaning the Commision can now register the plans as law.
After months of fraught negotiations and failed votes, MEPs finally approved the so-called backloading plan in December last year, allowing the temporary delay in the auctioning of 900 million allowances for the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) over the next two years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia: Labor rejects carbon tax backdown claim by Coalition

Posted on 26 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Labor has denied claims by the Abbott government it is ”crab-walking away” from the carbon price by accepting Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s plan to cancel three auctions of carbon credits. The Labor caucus voted unanimously on Tuesday not to join the Greens to block the auction cancellations in the Senate, a move Mr Hunt said showed ”the ALP has started to crumble in their support for the carbon tax”.
”This is simply not true,” said Mark Butler, Labor’s climate change spokesman. ”Labor remains entirely committed to repealing the carbon tax if an [an emissions trading scheme] is put in its place.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

UN promises “bold response” to stalled carbon offset scheme

Posted on 25 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The UN’s carbon trading mechanism needs an “imaginative, even bold response” following a drop in the number of new project submissions last year and a fall in demand for carbon offset credits.
To date more than 7,400 emission reductions projects in 94 countries have been registered for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and more than 1.4 billion Certified Emission Reduction (CER) carbon offset credits have been issued under the UN-backed scheme……………………………………….Full Article: Source

California sells 19.5 mln carbon allowances at $11.48 each

Posted on 25 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

California, the second-most polluting state in the U.S., sold 19.5 million carbon allowances at auction for $11.48 each, in line with analysts’ expectations.
Units of BP Plc (BP/), Chevron Corp. and Calpine Corp. were among the companies that qualified to buy permits in the Feb. 19 auction, a report posted on the state Air Resources Board’s website today showed. The agency doesn’t disclose the names of winning bidders. The state received 1.27 offers for every permit put up for sale………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NZ: Emissions Trading Scheme appears to be dying

Posted on 25 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Emissions Trading Scheme which is supposed to do the ‘heavy lifting’ in our climate policy “could not lift one dry Weet-Bix out of its box”. This is the view of University of Canterbury forestry expert Professor Euan Mason who sees New Zealand’s initial attempt to mitigate the problem of climate change as being “on its last legs”.
At least a million pine and fir tree seedlings, which had been grown in response to the ETS scheme, were recently destroyed with herbicide or mulched and ploughed into the soil because they were unsold in the 2013 planting season………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia scraps carbon permit auction plan

Posted on 24 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia’s conservative government on Monday scrapped plans for the auction of 60 million carbon permits before mid-year, in line with its intention to roll back the previous Labor administration’s proposed emissions trading scheme.
The auctions had been designed to allow big emitters to hedge their future exposure under Labor’s plan to launch the trading scheme in July 2015. The new government is expected to repeal the carbon pricing scheme in July when the balance of power shifts in Australia’s Senate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia prepares reverse auction approach to replace carbon tax

Posted on 20 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After imposing the highest carbon tax in the world, Australia was primed to become the first developed nation to test the idea that a link with the European Emissions Trading System would lead to a functioning global cap-and-trade CO2 market and more efficient carbon abatement.
Then last fall the Labor Party lost the parliamentary election, and the new government is embarking on a climate policy experiment of its own. While eliminating the carbon tax, dismantling many of the green programs of the previous government and officially banning Australian carbon polluters from buying carbon credits outside the country, the new coalition nevertheless reaffirmed the country’s pledge to cut emissions by 5 percent below 2000 levels by 2020………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Climate parasites: The answer to ‘climate change deniers’

Posted on 20 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It is a basic principle of psychological warfare that the side that controls the language of the argument controls the argument. Barack Obama’s own website is using this PsyWar technique by calling opponents of his cap and trade agenda “climate change deniers.”
He has also used the financial resources of the federal government, such as whitehouse.gov, to marginalize everybody who doesn’t agree with him as a climate change denier………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qingdao city next in line to set up emissions market in China

Posted on 19 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qingdao has become the latest Chinese city to plan a market to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as a group of advisers backed by its mayor is hammering out rules for an emissions trading scheme that could start next year.
Qingdao, a city of 3 million people in northeastern Shandong province with a GDP equal to that of Bangladesh, is a major energy consumer as the local economy relies on heavy industry and petrochemicals………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Emissions performance standard – a key to countering the EU’s coal addiction

Posted on 19 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Europe needs instruments that solve the problem of carbon pollution in reality, not theory, say Bellona together with a coalition of European environmental NGOs. The IPCC has restated the risks of climate disruption from the continued use of fossil fuels.
Given the urgent need to reduce global carbon emissions to a safe level, getting policies right is now critically important. It is essential for Europe to have ambitious renewable energy and efficiency targets for 2030. Nonetheless, to ensure closure or clean-up of Europe’s worst carbon emitters and to prevent building new ones, a targeted policy intervention such as EPS is also needed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s carbon offsets market makes cautious progress

Posted on 18 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s Certified Emission Reduction (CCER) programme will generate credits that can be used to offset carbon emissions in the domestic pilot compliance markets. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will guide the development of this market by controlling approval of certain projects, leading to a much lower offsets supply than potentially available, according to Thomson Reuters Point.
Given the limited time to the first compliance deadlines in mid-2014, the short-term supply will be tight. Thomson Reuters Point Carbon’s analysis forecasts that only currently-listed projects will be issued credits in time for the first surrender deadline for a total of 5 Mt CCERs………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iran considers use of carbon trading to cut CO2

Posted on 18 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iran may introduce emissions trading to curb consumption of fossil fuels and cut its carbon emissions, a government official in charge of energy efficiency said at the weekend.
The country is in the world’s top 15 biggest emitters of greenhouse gases because of its huge oil, gas and petrochemical industries, while cars and trucks also help swell its carbon footprint………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iran plans carbon emissions trading market, official says

Posted on 17 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iran plans to set up a carbon trading market to reduce industrial emissions of climate-warming gas, an official from Iran’s Fuel Conservation Organization (IFCO) told oil ministry news service Shana. Iran has some of the world’s largest gas reserves and is major crude oil exporter. But rapidly rising domestic demand has created a gas supply and vehicle pollution crisis in some cities.
Although Iran has some large hydro-power plants, heavy subsidisation of fossil fuels means there is little incentive for private investments in wind or solar power projects………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU factories facing first carbon shortfall since 2008: Energy

Posted on 17 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

European rules to curb the record glut of carbon permits are raising the prospects of a shortage for manufacturers from Dow Chemical Co. to HeidelbergCement AG. Companies in Europe, which need allowances to match their emissions output, will be short of as many as 100 million permits a year through 2016, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
The gap, worth 647 million euros ($884 million) at yesterday’s prices, compares with a surplus of 2.1 billion euros in 2012, EU data show. Carbon futures may more than double by next year to 15 euros a metric ton amid the curb, said UBS AG………………………………………..Full Article: Source

South Korea carbon price could skyrocket, analysts say

Posted on 17 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The South Korean government’s unwillingness to amend estimates of future greenhouse gas emissions could push its carbon price up to $93 per metric ton of CO2 , nearly 10 times higher than in Europe, when its cap and trade scheme launches in 2015, according to a report by Thomson Reuters Point Carbon.
Emissions from sectors covered by South Korea’s emissions trading scheme such as power generation and manufacturing could be about one-third higher than the government’s estimates, according to the Point Carbon report………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU must be more ‘ambitious’ on rolling-out CCS

Posted on 14 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The commission’s 2030 climate and energy package ‘underscores’ the value of carbon capture and storage (CCS), but measures must be taken to make it financially viable, says Graeme Sweeney.
The European commission and European parliament have invested great efforts in driving the debate around climate change goals for 2030. We now have a framework proposal that provides a strong foundation for achieving these goals and developing a competitive low-carbon economy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

S.Korea risking sky high carbon prices, worry for exports

Posted on 13 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

South Korea’s refusal to revise estimates of future greenhouse gas emissions could earn it the world’s highest carbon price, and have a potentially damaging impact on its export-oriented industry, according to a report released by Thomson Reuters Point Carbon.
The country’s environment ministry last month decided to stick to previous projections on how much carbon dioxide (CO2) South Korea would emit in 2020 under a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, despite critics saying that the estimates were too low………………………………………..Full Article: Source

European emissions trading: It’s the tons reduced that matter most

Posted on 13 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Last Thursday, the New York Times detailed the European Union’s most recent efforts to strengthen its carbon-emissions trading system: EU officials voted last week to reduce the number of carbon allowances in the system, a welcomed step for the world’s most ambitious carbon market to drive even more significant reductions than it has already achieved.
Fewer allowances will increase the price of permits, which in turn will drive companies to take emissions into account in their energy investment decisions. Thursday’s vote brought a rise in prices of approximately 7% reaching about €6.60 ($9). However, the New York Times reported, that price is still far below where analysts say it needs to be to have an impact on the EU’s energy choices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hubei plans province’s first carbon auction next month

Posted on 12 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hubei province will auction up to two million carbon permits at a government-set minimum price next month to kick-start the nation’s sixth pilot emissions trading scheme (ETS). Hubei’s carbon market will be only the second to sell a share of the permits. In most of the other trial schemes, the permits have been handed out for free.
China, the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gases, is seeking to limit its impact on climate change, and successfully operating the schemes is seen as vital for the foundation of a national emissions market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK lags behind Europe on energy efficiency funding

Posted on 11 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The UK is lagging behind other European nations by not using the £60bn it is expected to collect from European carbon taxes over the next fifteen years to insulate homes, a report has concluded.
The report by campaign group Energy Bill Revolution, which includes contractors Mark Group, Gentoo and trade body the Federation of Master Builders, said redirecting carbon tax cash into insulating homes would deliver substantial improvements to the housing stock………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global-warming slowdown due to Pacific Winds, study shows

Posted on 10 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Stronger Pacific Ocean winds may help explain the slowdown in the rate of global warming since the turn of the century, scientists said.
More powerful winds in the past 20 years may be forcing warmer seas deeper and bringing cooler water to the surface, 10 researchers from the U.S. and Australia said yesterday in the journal Nature. That has cooled the average global temperature by as much as 0.2 degree Celsius (0.36 Fahrenheit) since 2001…………………………….Full Article: Source

Treasury urged to insulate homes with carbon tax revenues

Posted on 10 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A coalition of businesses and NGOs has accused the Treasury of hypocrisy over its refusal to use proceeds from carbon taxes to insulate the UK’s housing stock.
A new report, authored by an ex-Treasury economist for campaign group Energy Bill Revolution, made up of nearly 200 UK charities, businesses, unions, consumer and health groups, highlights how the Treasury’s decision to retain proceeds from emissions trading and the carbon floor price is something of an anomaly…………………………….Full Article: Source

Fast-track EU carbon fix gets approval by Bloc’s Parliament

Posted on 07 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Parliament agreed to speed up the approval of a carbon-market rescue plan, enabling an intervention aimed at bolstering prices to begin as soon as this quarter.
Carbon permits for December jumped 6.2 percent to close at 6.54 euros ($10.69) a metric ton, the highest in more than a year on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London, after lawmakers in Strasbourg, France, endorsed the plan 306 votes to 276, with 14 abstentions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ex-Barclays carbon chief trades from home as prices surge

Posted on 07 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

EU lawmakers are completing details of a plan to curb an unprecedented oversupply and boost prices, which fell to a record in April. Allowances may rise to as high as 15 euros by 2015, according to Patrick Hummel, an analyst at UBS AG.
“There’s no reason why the market shouldn’t double within the next 18 months,” said Redshaw, who also worked as a trader at Enron Corp. and Electricite de France SA. (EDF) “At 6 euros, it’s still cheap.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

U.S. Northeast carbon market emissions drop in 2013

Posted on 06 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Greenhouse gas emissions fell 6 percent in 2013 in the nine northeast U.S. states that participate in a trading scheme to cut carbon dioxide from power plants, helped by mild temperatures and some use of cleaner energy sources.
Carbon emissions in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative region were down for a third straight year, to 86 million short tons from 92 million tons. Electricity use declined in four of the nine member states, according to the program’s emission allowances tracking system………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Coalition’s direct action climate plan ‘could undermine global efforts’

Posted on 06 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia’s 5% emissions reduction target ‘too low and inflexible’ to contribute to 2015 climate talks in Paris. The Coalition’s direct action climate plan is flawed in its design and could undermine international negotiations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a Senate committee into the policy has heard.
In a round of submissions to a Senate committee held in Melbourne on Wednesday, business and conservation organisations questioned whether the direct action plan, in its current form, could achieve its aim of a 5% reduction in emissions by 2020, from 2000 levels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

France launches probe into EU carbon market reform plan

Posted on 05 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Commission’s proposed carbon price stabilisation mechanism is a “masterpiece of Brussels technocracy” that could fuel greater market volatility, says a group of academics charged with defining France’s position on the proposed package of 2030 climate legislation.
Jean-Michel Charpin, the inspector general of the French government’s finances, who will lead the mission, was critical of the European Commission’s proposed reform. The stability of the carbon market is “essential”, Charpin said, stressing that the current CO2 prices of around €5 a tonne “are not satisfactory”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2 pct in 2012: government data

Posted on 05 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2 percent in 2012 from a year earlier due to a move from natural gas to coal for power generation and increased use of heating during a cold winter, final government data showed on Tuesday.
Britain, the world’s ninth largest emitter in 2012, saw greenhouse gas emissions reach 581.2 million tons compared to 563.2 million tons in 2011. Carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas blamed for climate change, accounted for 82 percent of 2012 emissions, rising 4.4. percent to 474.1 million tons from 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fast-track EU carbon-glut fix set for Parliament vote on Feb. 6

Posted on 05 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Parliament will decide on Feb. 6 whether to speed up the start of a measure to prop up emissions prices after the assembly’s smallest group raised an objection to fast-tracking the proposal.
The Europe of Freedom and Democracy group, which has 31 members out of a total 766 Parliament seats, opposes the carbon market rescue plan because it boosts industry costs, its member Zbigniew Ziobro said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

UN carbon supply may rise as sellers rush to beat 2015 deadlines

Posted on 04 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Supply of United Nations carbon offsets may rise after February as owners of offsets rush to sell them before their eligibility ends in the European Union’s market in March 2015, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
The executive board of the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism, the offset market regulator, will issue 5.9 million metric tons of Certified Emission Reductions this month, the lowest monthly total since July 2010, according to UN data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s a drop of 36 percent from the same month last year and 91 percent less than the record 63 million tons supplied last March………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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How the U.S. exports global warming

Posted on 04 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While Obama talks of putting America on the path to a clean, green future, we’re flooding world markets with cheap, high carbon fuels. The greening of American energy is both real and profound. Since President Obama took office, the nation’s solar capacity has increased more than tenfold. Wind power has more than doubled, to 60,000 megawatts – enough to power nearly 20 million homes.
Thanks to aggressive new fuel-efficiency standards, the nation’s drivers are burning nearly 5 billion fewer gallons of gasoline a year than in 2008. The boom in cheap natural gas, meanwhile, has disrupted the coal industry. Coal-power generation, though still the nation’s top source of electricity, is off nearly 20 percent since 2008………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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South Korea confirms 30pct carbon reduction target by 2020

Posted on 03 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

South Korea remains on course to meet its target of a 30% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, according to new data from the Ministry of Environment. It says the total reduction in climate warming greenhouse gases will be equivalent to 233 million tonnes.
Specifically, the country plans transportation emission cuts of 34.3%, 26.9% in the building sector, 26.7% from power generation, 25.0% in the public sector, 18.5% in industry, 12.3% from waste and 5.2% in agriculture and fishery………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU environment panel backs faster approval of carbon fix

Posted on 31 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Parliament’s environment committee agreed to accelerate the adoption of a rescue plan for the bloc’s emissions market, which the European Commission wants to start as soon as possible.
Carbon prices rose as much as 3.6 percent after the panel voted 43 to 13 to shorten the measure’s usual three-month scrutiny period in the Parliament. The recommendation now needs approval from all heads of the assembly’s other committees before it goes to a plenary, which can end the obligatory evaluation before an April deadline………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Brussels restricts policy to emission reduction and trading

Posted on 31 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Commission’s 2030 climate and energy package unveiled on 22 January confines itself to two main proposals: a 40% binding greenhouse gas emission reduction target and legislative reform of the EU Emission Trading Scheme.
Significantly, it does not include post-2020 national renewable energy targets or new energy efficiency targets. It also drops the fuel quality directive which underpins the use of biofuels in the transport sector. The upshot of the proposals, if adopted by the EU Member States and the European Parliament, is that the EU’s climate policy will in future be carried out almost exclusively through the Emission Trading Scheme coupled with national emission reduction targets. The days of micromanagement from Brussels are over………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Experts unconvinced latest reforms will save the European carbon market

Posted on 30 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Policymakers have long asserted that making polluters pay is an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But with Europe’s carbon market floundering, the EU is having to rethink how to go about setting a carbon price.
Carbon pricing only works as a climate change policy if the cost of emitting carbon dioxide is high enough to make companies change their behaviour. But the European carbon price has rarely been high enough to make that happen, and has plummeted in recent years. That means polluters have had little incentive to reduce their emissions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Obama tells sidelined lawmakers that climate change is ‘a fact’

Posted on 30 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

President Obama declared that the uncertainty around climate change is at an end, telling Congress “the debate is over” about its impacts on the Earth.
His assertion in the State of the Union address served as a sugar rush for Democrats who are eager to confront opponents of reshaping the nation’s carbon-rich energy system. They also promise to fuel resentment among Republican lawmakers who are steadily working to highlight the negative impacts of cutting greenhouse gases in the electricity sector………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China pollutes more… But is that an excuse for inaction?

Posted on 29 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It seems that an inverse relationship exists between the rise of global carbon emissions and the direction of climate policy and international negotiations. The more the former accelerates, the less the latter progresses.
Arguably, one of the best thing to happen to the U.S. was when China exceeded the U.S. as the largest carbon polluter in 2006. This provided negotiators and politicians an excuse for inaction: since China is polluting more than we are, the U.S. shouldn’t have to cut our own emissions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU industry panel to decide on carbon fix adoption track

Posted on 28 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Parliament’s industry committee is yet to decide whether to block a faster start of a carbon-market fix should its objection to the measure be denied by the environment panel, according to a Parliament official.
The environment committee is scheduled to vote on the industry panel’s recommendation to reject the emissions-market rescue plan on Jan. 30. If the recommendation is overturned the industry panel’s chair will need to consult coordinators from political groups on whether to object to plans by Matthias Groote, the head of the environment committee, to shorten the scrutiny period of the market fix, said the official, who declined to be identified, citing policy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fitch: EU emission cost focus positive; won’t lift utility risks

Posted on 28 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Commission’s focus on minimising the cost of reform in its latest climate and energy goals is positive for utilities, as rising consumer bills are creating significant political risk for the sector, Fitch Ratings says.
But this cost focus, indicated by a report on costs alongside new 2030 emission targets, does not alter our negative outlook for the sector, especially as the new targets will continue to drive down traditional electricity generation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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