During the count-down to George Osborne’s emergency budget of June 22 (ENDS Report, June 2010) a real sense of expectation grew that the chancellor would announce concrete new policies on energy and climate change. In the event, nothing of the sort happened.
Yes there were fleeting references to new policies. But in each case there was no advance on details already set out in the coalition’s sketchy programme for government (ENDS Report May, 2010). The further delays are doing little for investor confidence.
Especially frustrating is the lack of progress on the most radical policy – replacement of the electricity component of the Climate Change Levy (CCL) by a “top-up” carbon tax on power generators.
The tax would kick in whenever emission allowances in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme drop below an as yet unspecified threshold. This would effectively set a carbon floor price, providing a more consistent signal in favour of low carbon investment.
The plan remains on the table, but now looks set to be seriously delayed. (more…)
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- Europe’s enduring coal subsidies
- Home insulation scheme failing to reach many Scottish homes
- Apocalypse in the Gulf: could a sinkhole swallow the Deepwater Horizon well – and BP?
- UK company receives £4m investment for global expansion of online smart meters
- East of England business champions lead SMEs to low-carbon future
Ever since the European Union introduced the world’s first mandatory greenhouse gas cap-and-trade scheme in 2005 it has faced complaints that by setting a price on carbon it would drive heavy industries away.
The financial crisis and recession, plus the failure of the Copenhagen climate summit to agree a post-2012 global climate policy framework have pushed this issue of ‘carbon leakage’ way up the political agenda.
I explore the rights and wrongs of the whole issue at length in a new feature article, which will appear in the June edition of the ENDS Report.
The critical context is the decision facing Europe of whether it should increase its 2020 climate targets from a 20% reduction relative to 1990 to 30%. And the burning question is whether raising the target would add to carbon leakage. (more…)
- RWE: wholesale electricity prices “must double” to meet UK targets
- Carbon Trust publishes footprinting guide
- John Vidal’s Bonn blog
- Gribbles – the future of renewable energy?
- Obama seeks new ideas on energy and climate
- UK public polled on climate change and energy
- DECC starts publishing real-time energy data
- Traders call for European carbon market monitoring authority
- Lessons in risk management from Deepwater Horizon
- UK automotive sector “well-set” for transition to low-carbon
- Low-carbon funding for east England SMEs
- Mayor of London’s green award winners
- Climate Change Capital appoints Stephen Lilley to run new renewable energy team
- US oil price optimism fades
- BP publishes world energy data
- What’s the carbon footprint of a mobile phone?
Lack of foresight and too little investment in new power generation capacity threaten a looming energy gap and blackouts before 2020, the Conservatives warned before the election. It all sounds so familiar for anyone who remembers the oil shocks and economic gloom of the 1970s.
There is of course one big difference apart from the £200bn price tag by 2020. This is the commitment to decarbonise the UK’s electricity supply (ENDS Report, July 2009).
But essentially we are having the same kind of ‘predict and provide’ argument over need for new capacity that we had then. In the event, plans for a shiny new fleet of pressurised water reactors boiled down to just one at Sizewell B in Suffolk, voluntary energy efficiency schemes fizzled out as conditions eased, and we ended up with a dash for gas. (more…)
Just 2,578 organisations out of a probable 20,000 have so far registered under the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme, according to data published yesterday by the Environment Agency.
The registration period opened on 1 April and closes at the end of September. Two months in and only 264 out of an expected 5,000 full participants in the scheme have registered – a measly 5%.
Out of the expected 15,000 organisations with lower emissions that will have to report but not participate fully, 2,314 have registered – a rather more creditable 15%.
The relatively faster reactions of organisations with less exposure to the CRC is striking and counter-intuitive. Perhaps precisely because they don’t have to worry about early action metrics or where they will appear in the CRC league table this group is just getting on with registering more efficiently.
Overall, just 13% of organisations expected to be caught by the CRC have registered with 120 days left before the deadline. Should the agency be starting to worry about this? I don’t think so. (more…)
The latest World Bank annual assessment of global carbon markets contains a striking statistic.
Sales of international carbon offset credits under the clean development mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol fell by a staggering 59% in 2009 compared with 2008.
Put this together with indications from key investment funds such as Ecosecurities that they are to pare back their offset teams and the CDM’s retreat looks in danger of turning into a rout.
CDM carbon credits are needed to reduce compliance costs in the EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS), and are popular with the voluntary offset market. So why have things gone so badly for CDM just as new, large-scale programmatic schemes are at last coming onstream in India and Latin America? (more…)
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- China’s carbon intensity targets in the spotlight
- Transport for London gives green light to energy efficient traffic signals
- Dutch environment agency assesses Copenhagen Accord
- Vattenfall centralises sourcing of carbon credits
- EU on course to meet 2020 carbon emissions target
- EU climate commissioner welcomes fall in emissions