Trading away the future


2010 has been a bad year for the climate.

Not just for climate treaty negotiations – few expect a deal in Cancún in Mexico this December after the failure in Copenhagen last December. But also for the carbon markets that ultimately depend on strong policies.

Huge interests are at stake. Pioneering investors feel let down and are warning they could go to the wall. The uncertainty could go on until Cancún, or even longer.

This is on top of uncertainty over the post-2012 status of the UN clean development mechanism. The CDM’s future is further clouded by European Union proposals to stop many types of UN offsets from entering the EU Emissions Trading Scheme after 2012.

Why should we worry? There are several reasons. (more…)


Further reading: costly wind power and all-renewable Scotland


* UK wind farm costs will exceed fossil fuels for 20 years

* EU energy chief sees no deal on climate at Cancun

* Complex CRC could be replaced by new green tax

* Experts call for CRC’s second phase to be scrapped

* Plan for distributing EU ETS allowances may kill steel industry

* Germany approves plan for 80% carbon cuts by 2050

* Huhne sees Green Deal creating 250,000 jobs

* Scotland’s power entirely green by 2025: fuel bills will jump

* Korean firms face mandatory carbon and energy cuts

* Nottingham a leader at reducing carbon emissions


Further reading: calculating emissions and creating climate wealth


* CDP survey: Large companies see opportunities in climate change

* Carbon-absorbent foam for power stations wins plaudits

* Finnair launches ‘first true’ aviation carbon emissions calculator

* Major economies meet: Now is the time to create climate wealth

* Cleaning up pollution to cost China 2% of GDP

* UN climate chief backs ‘transformational‘ CDM projects

* CDM Board decides new projects, timeline for HFC-23 decision

* Carbon emissions from UK homes rises in 2008

* Scottish emissions of SF6 and HFCs spiralling upwards

* Yes, really: Cows emit less methane when fed oregano


Further reading: carbon cuts and cost savings


* Europe could save billions by shifting to 30% carbon cuts

* Wales eyes £50 billion green energy investment bonanza

* Richmond’s CO2-linked parking charges under threat

* Carbon traders slam plan for CDM auditor liability

* Agency urged not to fine late CRC registrants

* EU ETS carbon price to peak at €18 per tonne in 2010

* Birmingham airport slashes CO2 output

* Transport Scotland tackles business travel emissions

* UNEP plans to save $800,000 per year through carbon cuts

* Poor installation undermining heat pump performance


Further reading: Crashes, crime and nuclear power


Britain’s energy challenge


Energy policy in the UK is at a crossroads, and the decisions made now will reverberate for decades. At least 43 gigawatts of new electrical generation capacity, equivalent to half of Britain’s current total, will be needed by 2020, as all but one of its nuclear plants are retired and coal-fired power stations closed to meet EU air pollution standards.

A staggering £200bn of investment will be needed not only to maintain energy security against price spikes as North Sea resources dwindle and energy imports grow, but also to deliver the largest single contribution to a low-carbon economy. (more…)


Further reading – Lomborg’s U-turn, beating the cuts and Windows 7


Whitehall economists don’t get it


Be careful what you wish for.  When the Government Economic Service agreed to co-host an exploratory meeting with the soon-to-be-disbanded Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) we were delighted.  It had all the hallmarks of a meaningful engagement with a key government service.  The aim of the exercise (or so we thought at the time) was to improve guidance on sustainable development in the government’s ‘green book’: the economic bible for assessing the merits of public sector investment projects.

In the Commission we saw it as the first step in a succession of reviews: first we would have the ‘green book’, then the ‘blue book’ – the guidance on national economic accounts (including GDP) – and finally the ‘pink book’ – the national guidance on investments and assets accounting (including the rapidly rising public debt). (more…)


Slouching toward Karachi


Pakistan is experiencing the worst floods in its history. 20 million people have been displaced. Many have died. More will die. The waters have washed away more than homes and livelihoods, they have washed away years of investment in the public infrastructure that makes development possible. With it will have gone all confidence in the government.

Russia recently announced a ban on the export of grain. This is a consequence of its hottest summer on record. What harvest the fires did not burn, the drought destroyed. Grain production this year will be a third less than usual. (more…)


Further reading: greener trains and footing the carbon bill

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The ENDS Carbon & Energy Efficiency blog provides news and comment for carbon and energy management professionals in business and the public sector, covering the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme and other carbon and energy management and regulation issues. The blog is part of the ENDS Report Carbon & Energy Efficiency channel.

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