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Norway pledges to become climate neutral by 2030

Posted on 16 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Parliament approves radical proposal of accelerated emissions cuts and carbon offsetting to achieve climate goal 20 years earlier than planned. Norway’s parliament has approved a radical goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2030, two decades earlier than planned.
On Tuesday night MPs voted for an accelerated programme of CO2 cuts and carbon trading to offset emissions from sectors such as Norway’s oil and gas industries, which are unlikely to be phased out in the near future………………………………………..Full Article: Source

It’s the economy that needs to be integrated into the environment - not the other way around

Posted on 15 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy is a standard industry reference document. It’s a useful indicator of trends, if occasionally the victim of politics. But the newest edition brings welcome news that the growth of global carbon emissions paused in 2015, partly to do with a shift to renewables, and partly the result of passing economic conditions, both notable in China.
But BP, the company that once promised to go “beyond petroleum”, is sticking firmly with oil and gas. Its get-out strategy from appearing over-fossilised in attitude, is to call for a “meaningful carbon price,” advocated by its chief economist, Spencer Dale………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon Trading and the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Joined at the Hip, In for the Haul

Posted on 15 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In 2006, the nonprofit organization World Vision started helping people in Ethiopia plant trees, and it funded the project by selling carbon offsets for the roughly 22,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide that those trees mop up each year. But World Vision isn’t an environmental group; it’s a humanitarian aid organization, and it launched the forest-carbon project as an environmental means to achieve humanitarian ends.
It worked. The organization’s new impact report finds the tree-planting effort has created more than 2,000 jobs while restoring 12 water springs and increasing soil fertility for four out of five families. The result is a dramatic increase in food security………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ghana Taps Carbon Markets To Avert A Chocolate Shortage

Posted on 14 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In Ghana, cocoa is king: it accounts for almost 10 percent of the country’s economy and 30 percent of its exports - but it’s also a leading driver of deforestation, for a variety of reasons.
To begin with, the cacao tree on which the cocoa bean grows is a ravenous beast that sucks nutrients out of the soil at rates that require massive infusions of chemical fertilizer. On top of that, cacao grows best in filtered sunlight, under shade trees; but more and more farmers have been chopping the shade trees to increase yields in the short-term - largely because of widely-held beliefs that new hybrids thrive in the sun………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Reform May Cut EU Carbon-Market Glut, Lead Lawmaker Duncan Says

Posted on 14 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Union should further reduce supply of permits in its ailing emissions market, the world’s biggest cap-and-trade program, instead of mulling fixing prices, according to the European Parliament’s lead lawmaker on a carbon program reform.
Ian Duncan proposed measures aimed at limiting the amount of emission permits in circulation as a part of the EU Parliament’s legislative work on the post-2020 overhaul of the Emissions Trading System, or ETS………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Campaigners call for ‘real emissions reductions’ as Scottish Government meets targets

Posted on 13 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Scottish Government is expected to hit its target for cutting climate pollution for the first time in five years – but only because of changes in the way emissions are counted. The new climate change minister, Roseanna Cunningham, looks likely to tell the Scottish Parliament tomorrow that the statutory target for 2014 has been met. Every previous annual target for 2010 to 2013 has been missed.
But the main reason for the success will be that the complex rules on how the European Union’s emissions trading system is taken into account have changed. This has the effect of making Scotland’s targets easier to meet………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Wynne’s carbon-pricing scheme a looming disaster

Posted on 13 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government is blundering into cap-and-trade carbon pricing in the same way it did wind and solar power. It is implementing a rushed, half-baked plan, just as it did with renewable energy.
It’s doing so without providing information the public needs to assess whether taxpayers are getting good value for money, just as it did with renewable energy. Because, make no mistake, cap-and-trade will be paid for — just as the Liberals’ multi-billion-dollar renewable energy fiasco was paid for — out of the pockets of ordinary citizens………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Harvard Study Finds $38 Billion Economic Benefit From EPA’s Carbon Rule

Posted on 10 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When the Environmental Protection Agency published a rule to reduce carbon emissions from power plants last year, critics quickly said the plan was too economically costly for businesses and home electricity bills. But now, a new study led by researchers from Harvard University finds that nearly all regions of the U.S. stand to gain economically from a power plant carbon standard like the Clean Power Plan, and do so fairly quickly.
Using a scenario that somewhat resembles the Clean Power Plan (CPP) — a policy moderately stringent and highly flexible — researchers calculated net benefits of some $38 billion a year, according to the study published Wednesday in the online journal PLOS ONE………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Takashi Hongo: South Korea’s emissions trading scheme bears watching

Posted on 10 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Last December, at the 21st annual session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, better known as COP21, countries negotiated the Paris Agreement, pledging to set national goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In Asia, South Korea’s efforts bear special attention. South Korea has set a target of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 37% from “business-as-usual” levels in 2030………………………………………..Full Article: Source

California’s Cap-and-Trade Law Is a Success

Posted on 09 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The purpose of California’s cap-and-trade program is to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. By that crucial measure, California’s program is working well.
The purpose of California’s cap-and-trade program is to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. By that crucial measure, California’s program is working well. Emissions under the cap fell more than 3% in its first two years, beating the program’s targets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU politicians say no to forests as easy option for curbing emissions

Posted on 09 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Seven political groups in the European Parliament on Wednesday called on the European Commission to prevent nations such as a Poland using forests to try to escape from cutting emissions in other areas.
Following the Paris climate change agreement in December last year, the European Union is about to begin what is expected to be a fierce debate on how to cut emissions across the 28-member bloc. Poland, which is heavily reliant on coal, has been promoting the idea of climate neutrality, rather than decarbonisation and has said its forests can be used to offset emissions from other sectors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OCBC says China’s focus on yuan value against currency basket is working

Posted on 08 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OCBC has forecast a weaker Chinese currency by year-end, saying that the country’s new focus on a basket-valuation of the yuan had been effective. OCBC economist Tommy Xie told CNBC’s “The Rundown” that the bank expected “mild depreciation” in the Chinese currency, largely due to a stronger dollar on the back of expected monetary tightening from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The value of the currency has a talking point in recent days, with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew saying on Sunday that a market-driven yuan would benefit Chinese consumers’ purchasing power………………………………………..Full Article: Source

About Carbon Offsets and How to Purchase Them Wisely

Posted on 08 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Climate change has produced its own set of buzz words: Global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon footprint, sea level rise, carbon neutral, sustainability, organic, carbon trading, renewable energy, and eco-everything.
One of the greatest pushes has been for individuals to reduce their carbon footprint, which equates to a person consuming less energy by using fewer resources (cars, air travel, electricity, plastic products) that emit high levels of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, through production and/or use………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Offshore wind can match coal, gas for value by 2025

Posted on 07 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Eleven energy and technology firms said on Monday offshore wind can be as cheap as gas and coal within a decade, but said European nations must do more to ensure a stable legal framework to inspire investment in zero carbon generation.
Germany’s RWE, E.On and Siemens signed an open letter, alongside Norwegian oil firm Statoil, Sweden’s Vattenfall and General Electric of the United States, saying they can produce for less than 80 euros ($90.80) per megawatt hour per project by 2025………………………………………..Full Article: Source

S.Korea focusing on boosting carbon trading

Posted on 06 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The government is seeking ways to boost carbon emissions rights trading, which is failing to take root in the country. The Ministry of Strategy and Finance established the Climate Economy Division within the Future and Social Policy Bureau last week, which will be supporting the government’s climate change schemes.
Its major task is to increase carbon trading, setting up and coordinating plans on emissions quotas, as well as controlling the emissions rights market. It will have government officials from the finance ministry and the environment ministry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Airlines back carbon emissions deal despite cost

Posted on 06 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Airlines want one global deal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from air travel despite higher costs, in order to avoid a patchwork of regulation that would be harder to manage, an executive of the International Air Transport Association trade group said on Friday.
The market-based plan must win the support of the United Nations aviation agency’s 191 member countries at a fall assembly, or risk the European Union’s imposing its own emissions trading scheme on international airlines. At its annual meeting last week in Dublin, the trade group said the deal led by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, or ICAO, should be the only agreement to reduce emissions from international aviation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Chinese president vows to boost green, low-carbon development

Posted on 03 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China will constantly boost green and low-carbon development in an effort to promote harmony between human and nature, according to a congratulatory letter sent by President Xi Jinping to the 7th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and inaugural Mission Innovation Ministerial on Thursday.
In the message read by Yin Hejun, Chinese vice minister of science and technology, Xi called the meetings crucial high-level forums in the area of clean energy held after the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Washington State updates emission trading scheme proposal

Posted on 03 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The US state of Washington has updated its draft plan for an emissions trading scheme following feedback from businesses and environmental organisations, with a view to establishing the state’s first carbon cap-and-trade market from next year.
Washington’s Department of Ecology launched the revised draft Clean Air Rule for public consultation yesterday, having withdrawn the initial ETS plans in February in order to “act quickly on improvements and stay on track with adopting the rule by late summer” for legislative approval………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU Power-Price Boost on Hold as Traders Doubt Carbon Tax

Posted on 03 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A jolt in power prices because of the introduction next year of a carbon floor price in France has so far failed to materialize as traders suspect the measure may be delayed or won’t happen at all.
French Environment and Energy Minister Segolene Royal said last month that the nation will introduce a floor price for carbon of about five times current permit levels. The tax would probably boost power prices because of higher running costs for price-setting coal-stations, potentially leading to closures and increased imports………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU parliament starts debating more carbon-market cuts

Posted on 02 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Legislative work on the post-2020 overhaul of Europe’s carbon emissions market has been launched by a proposal in a draft report tabled in the European Parliament by MEP Ian Duncan. The law, which proposes to adjust the Emissions Trading System (ETS) to EU climate goals for 2030, needs majority backing in the parliament and weighted majority support from national governments to take effect.
As reported by Bloomberg, the EU wants to lead the global fight against climate change. Under a United Nations deal reached by more than 190 countries in December in Paris, the EU has submitted its 2030 goal to cut carbon by at least 40% percent from 1990 levels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Five ways to accelerate the low-carbon energy transition

Posted on 02 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

World Energy Council Trilemma Report outlines clear need for innovative investment policies to encourage growth of low-carbon energy. The key to accelerating the rise of low-carbon energy systems lies in innovative investment policies, according to a new report released today by the World Energy Council (WEC).
The new report, produced in partnership with global consultancy Oliver Wyman, will be presented to ministers gathered at the Clean Energy Ministerial today in California. It highlights the challenges facing the energy system from the “energy trilemma” - a term coined by the WEC to summarise competing pressures of ensuring secure supplies, meeting rising demand for energy and curbing carbon emissions simultaneously………………………………………..Full Article: Source

California’s Cap-and-Trade Bubble

Posted on 01 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The carbon-credit market sputters, as it also has in Europe. When carbon cap and trade flopped in Europe, liberals blamed design flaws and hailed California’s embryonic program as a better regulatory model. But cap and tax is struggling in the Golden State too.
A mere 2% of the carbon emissions credits that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) put up for auction in May were sold. The quarterly auction raised only $10 million of the $500 million that CARB projected. That’s awful news for Democrats in Sacramento who planned to spend the windfall on high-speed rail, housing and electric-car subsidies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK to fight North Sea’s EU carbon burden

Posted on 01 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The UK is set to fight an EU loophole which stands to burden North Sea explorers with spiralling carbon emissions costs of £1.5bn in the next decade. The struggling North Sea sector pays millions of pounds to buy ‘allowances’, which are used to offset the carbon intensity of the electricity it uses on offshore rigs through the EU’s emissions trading system.
Other energy intensive industries, however, such as steel and cement, are entitled to free carbon allowances, while sectors that generate power can offset the extra charges by passing the costs on to consumers through their bills………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Tokyo’s cap and trade scheme goes beyond hitting the bullseye

Posted on 31 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The city-wide Tokyo Cap and Trade Program has stimulated energy efficiency in the commercial and industrial sector so effectively it has achieved double its emissions reduction goal across the 1300 properties covered, according to a recent research report.
The commercial office sector outperformed all others, achieving a reduction of emissions intensity of 27 per cent by financial year 2013, compared to the year 2000 baseline. The target had been set at eight per cent by FY 2015, and 20 per cent by 2020………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon Pricing Under Binding Political Constraints

Posted on 30 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In a new working paper titled “Carbon pricing under binding political constraints,” MIT Institute for Data, Systems and Society doctoral candidate Jesse Jenkins and Sloan School of Management Assistant Professor Valerie Karplus discuss the political obstacles facing efforts to price carbon emissions — either via a carbon tax or emissions cap and permit trading system — and outline a set of starting points that are both politically palatable and steps toward effective policies to curb climate change.
“While putting a price on carbon is the most economically-efficient strategy to confront climate change-related risks, in the real world, efforts to price carbon routinely run right into a range of political constraints,” explains Jenkins………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon trading ‘to expand due to Paris climate deal’

Posted on 30 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Carbon markets are expected to expand as a result of the Paris agreement. That’s according to 82% of the 146 carbon traders from the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) surveyed by PwC, which added the figure is up from 58% from 2015.
IETA members were asked questions about “a broad range of organisation types and locations” such as Europe, North America and China. Around 61% of respondents said existing emissions trading systems (ETS) will make substantial contributions towards meeting the Paris targets. However 70% agreed existing ETS initiatives are being undermined due to an overlap with other climate policies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon traders expect continued boost from Paris, but price concerns linger

Posted on 27 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Annual survey of IETA members suggests continued optimism over impact of Paris on expanding carbon markets, but concern remains over low prices. Alongside a host of climate finance pledges, emission reduction targets and green growth plans, the Paris Agreement crucially also included a commitment to support emissions trading mechanisms.
As a result, the wave of positivity towards tackling climate change that has swept up many green policy makers and businesses post-Paris also seems to have taken hold among those involved in carbon trading. Indeed, post COP21, many in the carbon pricing sector are hopeful the Paris Agreement will herald in an expansion of global carbon markets - just as analysts predicted………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Paris Agreement seen as boost for carbon markets

Posted on 27 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An overwhelming majority of respondents to IETA’s annual market sentiment survey expect an expansion of carbon markets, driven by the Paris Agreement. Over 80% of respondents to this year’s survey, conducted by PwC, said they expect existing carbon markets to expand as a result of the Paris Agreement – compared with 58% last year.
This will be driven by developments at both the national and sub-national level, the survey found. By 2025, new emissions trading systems (ETSs) are seen starting up in Canada, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey, said respondents. This is in addition to the national ETS in China that is expected to begin next year, as well as the Ontario market, the legislation for which was passed last week………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China holds key to revive moribund carbon markets

Posted on 26 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Government receipts from carbon pricing schemes leapt 60% to US $26 billion through 2015, a World Bank study revealed on Wednesday. The news comes amid widespread gloom over the impact of global carbon markets and pricing mechanisms, which are now operating in 40 countries.
While national coffers are swelling, there’s little sign it’s having the opposite impact on greenhouse gas emissions. According to a separate study from consultants PwC, to meet the targets laid out in last December’s UN climate deal a tonne of CO2 should be rated at US$45, far higher than prices in major markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why British environmentalists should vote for Brexit

Posted on 25 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The leading lights of the UK environmental movement would have us believe that a win by the Brexit camp on 23 June would be akin to a natural disaster. According to them, it is only our membership of the EU that renders our beaches swimmable, our water drinkable and our air almost breathable.
Freed from the noble, ceaseless efforts of the ever-vigilant EU, troglodyte Britain would tear up decades of environmental legislation and return to our 1970s roots as the “dirty man” of Europe. This is complete and utter tosh………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Federal election 2016: Greg Hunt denies carbon tax by stealth

Posted on 25 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

New safeguard measures to boost the Coalition’s Direct Action plan on climate change are not an emissions trading scheme or carbon tax by stealth, Environment Minister Greg Hunt says.
Hunt yesterday rejected claims a “secret” emissions trading scheme had been buried in the ­Coalition’s policies, which have been roundly criticised by environment groups as too little, too late. Hunt said there were clear reasons why the Coalition “safeguards mechanisms” could not be considered a carbon trading scheme………………………………………..Full Article: Source

State AGs call on EPA to stop working on stayed climate rules

Posted on 24 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Several states say the Environmental Protection Agency’s continued work on implementing climate rules for power plants, despite a Supreme Court stay, is bordering on the edge of violating the law.
State attorneys general Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia and Ken Paxton of Texas, who are leading 30 states in a lawsuit opposing the Clean Power Plan, released a letter pressing the agency’s clean air chief to cease all action and follow the law. They sent the letter last week, but released it publicly on Monday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is the UK really racing ahead of Europe with its climate and clean energy policies?

Posted on 24 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Despite claims UK is hampering its competitiveness by adopting overly ambitious climate policies, new ECIU report argues UK performance is “distinctly average” compared to EU neighbours.
Is the UK doing more than its fair share to tackle climate change and boost clean energy compared to its European neighbours, imposing burdens on heavy industry and undermining its competitiveness in the process?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Carbon trading fails to take root in Korea

Posted on 23 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Korean companies have rarely traded their carbon emission rights on the South Korean main bourse this year due to a weak supply, data showed Sunday. According to the Korea Exchange, the total volume of traded emission rights stood at 1.08 million tons as of Thursday, a combined figure of 113,000 Korean allowance units and 968,000 Korean credit units.
Korean allowance units refer to the rights allocated directly by the government. Korean credit units are offset emission permits, converted from the greenhouse gas reductions through individual companies’ external projects………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How European carbon broker’s offshore account trade may boost Chinese markets

Posted on 23 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s carbon markets may gain more participants after the successful closing of European carbon broker Virtuse Group’s first deal through its offshore account on Shenzhen’s emissions market, the China Emissions Exchange .
The deal, though relatively small at 800,000 yuan ($122,000), is seen as a test of China’s ability to link its own carbon trading exchanges with those overseas, and will also shed light on the ability of China’s financial system to process carbon transactions efficiently. Virtuse sold over 63,000 Shenzhen emissions permits to a local panel display producer, Shenzhen Laibao Hi-tech Corporation, said Huang Chao, the company’s trader based in the city……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Industry, competitiveness, and the fifth carbon budget

Posted on 20 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

EEF’s Richard Warren argues there is little reason for industry to be concerned about the impact of an ambitious new carbon budget on competitiveness - in fact it could provide a boost to UK manufacturers. The government has just six weeks remaining to set the level of the fifth carbon budget and bring it into legislation. Parliamentary timetables being what they are, we can therefore expect to hear something in the next two to three weeks.
It is widely anticipated the government will follow the advice of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) in setting the budget at 1,725 million tonnes over the 2028-2032 period (excluding international shipping) representing a 57 per cent reduction from 1990 levels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UN Negotiators Spar Over Draft Global Aviation Emissions Reduction Scheme

Posted on 20 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The 191 members of the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) tussled last week over a draft resolution to establish a global market-based measure (GMBM) to help meet the sector’s goal of carbon neutral growth from 2020 during a meeting held in Montreal, Canada, from 11-13 May.
According to media reports, divisions emerged over how to share responsibilities between nations, a tension that has long plagued separate UN climate talks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agricultural emissions ‘reality check’

Posted on 19 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A new report says that global agricultural emissions must be slashed to prevent the planet warming by more than 2C over the next century. The current focus is on reducing emissions from transport and energy. But an international team of scientists argues that if farm-related emissions aren’t tackled then the Paris climate targets will be breached.
An estimated one-third of our greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture. The report by researchers from the universities of Vermont and Sheffield and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change examines non-CO2 emissions, such as methane and nitrous oxide………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Europe needs independent carbon market regulator - Total’s CEO

Posted on 19 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Europe needs an independent carbon market regulator with clear objectives rather than the current mix of state administrators and the European Commission that has complicated the market, the chief executive of Total said on Wednesday.
Patrick Pouyanne told a French Senate commission that the current situation of the European carbon market cannot work in the long term and take carbon prices to a level where they will spur investments in less polluting energies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

France sets carbon price floor

Posted on 18 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

2017 finance bill will set price at €30 a tonne in a bid to stir European action to cut emissions and drive forward the Paris climate agreement. France will set a carbon price floor of about €30 ($33.95) a tonne in its 2017 finance bill as the government seeks to kickstart broader European action to cut emissions and drive forward last year’s landmark international climate accord.
The French government said last month that it would unilaterally set a carbon price floor in the absence of a broader European initiative to strengthen carbon pricing, hoping the move will spur other countries to act. It did not, however, give an indication on pricing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon Markets: Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future

Posted on 18 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Neo-classical economics tells us that markets reduce costs and increase social welfare. It also teaches that pollution not properly accounted for is a classic economic externality. That is, if clean air and clear water are not properly valued, degrading them reduces economic efficiency, impacts social welfare, and increases social costs. Pollution not-paid-for represents a market failure.
In the early 1990s, officials in President George H.W. Bush’s administration pioneered the concept of using markets for pollution rights to fix this inefficiency in order to arrest the primary causes of acid rain………………………………………..Full Article: Source

COP21 requires emissions reduction target if agriculture is to succeed

Posted on 18 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Paris climate agreement was historic. Some 127 nations signed the Paris treaty to limit warming to at least 2°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100. Yet the question remains – are countries clear on how they will get there? asks Dr Lini Wollenberg.
Dr Lini Wollenberg is the leader of the CCAFS Low Emissions Development research program, based at the University of Vermont’s Gund Institute for Ecological Economics. To guide climate change mitigation and track progress towards this ambitious agreement, clear and measurable global targets need to be set for all sectors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China Will Start the World’s Largest Carbon Trading Market

Posted on 17 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When it comes to learning about emissions trading, China has had a leg up. The world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases has spent 15 years scouting the globe to learn from the mistakes of other nations and find the best ways to build a trading system of its own, which could become the world’s largest.
One of China’s earliest mentors was Dan Dudek, an agricultural economist and vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) who, early in his career, got into an argument with its president, Fred Krupp, over whether China might be a big piece of the puzzle the group was exploring: Was there a way to use economics, rather than politics and regulations, to shift the world’s businesses away from polluting the environment toward protecting it and to reward low-cost innovations that do that?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Green investment leaders ask if it is time to ‘break the cycle’ of short term quarterly reporting?

Posted on 17 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Two Investment Leader Group reports seek to promote longer-term investment thinking and better reporting of environmental impacts. For all the encouraging developments in the sustainable investment sector in recent years, high profile attempts to remove fossil fuels or polluting businesses from investment portfolios remain hampered by an absence of clear information on assets’ environmental and social impacts.
The Financial Stability Board’s new taskforce may have recently called for improved reporting on climate-related risks and the Paris Agreement and UN Sustainable Development Goals may have made it clear businesses need to better consider long term trends and opportunities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global warming: Grim news on carbon dioxide should compel change

Posted on 16 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

News that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have passed the globally significant milestone of 400 parts per million at the aptly named Cape Grim in Tasmania should be of concern to people everywhere.
The Age has long argued that the time for scepticism about human-induced climate change has passed; the scientific evidence is beyond reasonable doubt. On the crucial question of what is causing global warming, which has already pushed average temperatures about 1 degree above pre-industrial levels, the debate is over. As the United Nations conference in Paris in December showed, there is all but universal agreement on the need to act………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The great climate change rort

Posted on 16 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Government’s main climate policy is under attack by those who say it has been a vehicle for dodgy dealing and has done nothing to reduce carbon emissions. Canterbury farmer Warrick James is not your stereotypical climate activist.
You won’t see him abseiling in protest off the side of an oil rig or waving a ­placard in front of a coal-fired milk-drying plant. But he’s rightly proud of the contribution he is making to combating what many consider humanity’s greatest challenge………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Carbon taxes, emissions trading and electricity prices: making sense of the scare campaigns

Posted on 13 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Yet again, electricity prices are set to be a key point of contention in an Australian federal election. The Coalition responded quickly to Labor’s election commitment to an emissions trading scheme (ETS), with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull warning of “much higher electricity prices” and a “very big burden” on Australians.
Other ministers joined in. Treasurer Scott Morrison labelled the plan a “a big thumping electricity tax” and Environment Minister Greg Hunt branded it “Julia Gillard’s carbon tax on steroids”, warning of “even higher electricity prices for Australian families”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Coalition climate plan ‘assumes emissions trading’, says government modeller

Posted on 12 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The government is campaigning against Labor’s emissions trading scheme but its own Direct Action will only work with large funding increases or as an ETS. Modelling hailed by the Liberal party as proof its Direct Action plan could meet Australia’s long-term climate promises in fact assumes the Coalition would turn its policy into a type of emissions trading scheme, according to the authors.
The environment minister, Greg Hunt, released the modelling, by the Energetics consulting firm, just days before the election was called and told the Australian newspaper it was proof that critics of the government’s policy – who say it has no hope of reaching Australia’s target without changes – were totally wrong………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Cap & Trade: Selling Pollution

Posted on 12 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Across the last 160 years, the timber industry has leveled the largest trees in California’s north coast counties in a burst of wealth that would be impossible to replicate for hundreds of years, even if industrial civilization persists for that long despite global climate change and a broad, interlocking global environmental crisis.
But the climate change era is also supplementing the region’s lumber economy by offering up the latest secondary forest product boom: carbon molecules. As I found in a review for the AVA, Mendocino and Humboldt Counties – which are home to some of the world’s fastest-growing forests, despite those forests’ thoroughly diminished state – have had a dominant role in the California’s Cap-and-Trade program………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IETA presses for rapid steps to further international emission trade

Posted on 11 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Carbon trading business association IETA is urging governments to build on the Paris Agreement by furthering rules to stimulate international emissions trade. In a paper published on Tuesday, IETA outlined its vision for linking cap-and-trade systems, crediting emission reductions, and allowing limited trade of offsets for cutting emissions in sectors not covered in a country’s NDC.
“Linking systems can help drive costs down even more, and allow for even greater emissions cuts than operating in isolation – and allow governments to go further than proposed ahead of Paris,” said IETA President and CEO Dirk Forrister………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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