On an annual basis it would represent only a modest increase on deforestation over the past five years -- the period of the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period, through which forest owners have had liabilities under the ETS. Even so, it represents a steep increase in the amount of deforestation the large forest owners said they expected to do in a 2011 survey on the assumption that the ETS would remain in place. That survey indicated that their expected total deforestation between 2008 and 2020 would be just 17,000ha, not the 62,000 hectares recorded in the latest survey. Instead it is closer to the 58,000 hectares of deforestation they said then that they would do if there was no ETS.
85 per cent of the forests involved were planted before 1990, and under Kyoto's rules the carbon stored in them is deemed to be emitted upon harvest and is counted in the country's greenhouse gas emissions, unless the land, or its equivalent elsewhere, is replanted.
But since the 2011 survey carbon prices have plunged, with some units trading for only pennies a tonne, and they provide no material barrier to exit should the land be suitable for other uses.
The report estimates that 86 per cent of the land deforested by large-scale owners would be converted to dairy farms and another 9 per cent to sheep and beef.
The survey found that most respondents who intend to deforest either had not calculated the breakeven carbon price or were not prepared to disclose it. (Source: Canterbury University, New Zealand Herald, April 15, 2013) Contact: Canterbury University, Prof. Bruce Manley, Report Author, +64 3 364 2122X6122, [email protected], www.canterbury.ac.nz
Tags Deforestation news, Carbon Prices news, Carbon news,
Honing in on the above issue, Ecosystem Marketplace will very soon release its own cautionary report covering opportunities (albeit very limited) for compliance suppliers to sell or enter into the voluntary carbon markets.
Access Carbon 2013 report at http://www.pointcarbon.com/polopoly_fs/1.2236558!Carbon%202013%20Final.pdf
(Source: Point Carbon, Ecosystem Marketplace, 26 Mar., 2013) Contact: Point Carbon, www.pointcarbon.com
Tags Point Carbon news, Carbon news,
The new rules open the way not only to improve the carbon accounts, but also to include in these accounts the pool of wood products in use in each Member State, by acknowledging that wood, until the end of its useful life, continues storing the CO2 the trees absorbed during their growth.
The new LULUCF rules correct the aberration introduced by the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 when it was decided that, whenever a tree was cut, the CO2 immediately returned to the atmosphere. It is now acknowledged that the CO2 in fact stays in the harvested wood product until the end of its useful life. Then, and not earlier, is when wood plays a role as a renewable energy source.
The European wood and panel industries will continue working along the EU policy-makers in the development of the concrete application of these new rules. (Source: IHB, 18 March, 2013) Contact: European Panel Federation (EPF2) , www.europeanpanels.eu
Tags Carbon Emissions news, Carbon Storage news, Kyoto Protocol news,
The UBA claimed the annual surge in harmful emissions at no time jeopardized the country's ambitious climate targets stemming from the Kyoto Protocol. It said that by the end of the international treaty in December 2012, Germany's harmful emissions has fallen 25.5 percent from 1990 levels, with the country pledging to reduce them by at least 21 percent. (Source: DW, Feb. 25, 2013) Contact: UAB, www.bmu.de/en/bmu/.../federal.../federal-environment-agency
Tags Greenhouse Gas Emissions news,
In addition, last year the government further tarnished its environmental reputaion when it announced that it would not sign on to a second commitment period on greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. (Source: UPI Science News, 12 Feb., 2013)
Tags New Zealand news, Cap-and-Trade news, Carbon Credit Trading news,
The research team measured real-world changes in the amount of CO2 building up in the atmosphere against the amount of gases that each country said it emitted. And, like a jigsaw puzzle with one or two missing pieces, the picture did not quite match. "The simplest explanation is there has been an underestimate in the accounting of about 7 per cent through that early period in the 1990s," said the lead researcher, Roger Francey, an honorary fellow at the CSIRO. According to Francey, "the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere doesn't reflect the reported emissions. This may be because the methodology for getting national emissions was far less developed than today, and only really developed for a few countries, so they were relying much more on estimates."
If confirmed, the findings would carry some potentially good news about the rate of climate change: if emissions were higher in the 1990s, then they have not been increasing at quite such a steep rate to reach today's level. It would mean emissions have been rising more steadily for the past three decades, at the middle range of predictions by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, rather than surging up since 2000.
Although an error of 7 per cent in estimated emissions is within the stated level of uncertainty, it still means that emissions equivalent to about four times the size of Australia's annual greenhouse output had somehow been "lost". The accounting method is made even more complicated by the performance of "carbon sinks" which absorb large but varying amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere.
(Source: Nature Climate Change, Brisbane Times, Feb. 11, 2013)
Tags Carbon Emissions news, Kyoto Protocol news,
Leading up to the Doha Climate Change Conference, Australia agreed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol's second commitment period covering emissions targets from 2013-2020. The EU, Norway and Switzerland were the only other countries that agreed to ratify Kyoto's second commitment period. Of those countries, Australia pledged to cut emissions by 47 percent while Europe pledged only 23 per cent.
(Source: The Australian, Feb 8, 2013)
Tags Australia Carbon Tax news, Carbon Tax news, Kyoto Protocol news,
The Enguri Hydro Power Plant is located on the Enguri river and provides 40 percent of the country's domestic power supply.
(Source: EBRD, Enguri Hydro Power, Financial, Feb. 4, 2013) Contact: EBRD, www.ebrd.com
Tags CDM news, Carbon Credits news, Hydro Power news,
At the end of 2012, market participants had hoped to have more clarity over the use of ERUs before the start of Phase III, but the Commission only submitted its formal proposal to the committee on Thursday following discussions with member states even though the main proposed changes had been revealed. The ERU benchmark contract has been under pressure over 2012, shedding 92% of its value, ICIS data show.
The Commission proposed banning ERUs issued by countries that do not have legally binding emissions targets for the period 2013-2020; specifically, "ERUs issued by third countries which do not have legally binding quantified emission targets from 2013 to 2020 or that have not deposited an instrument of ratification relating to such an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, should only be held in the Union Registry if they have been certified to relate to emission reductions verified as having taken place before 2013," the draft amendment said. The Commission added that this assurance can be given in two possible ways: either these ERUs are issued in accordance with the Joint Implementation (JI) track-2 procedure; or they are certified as corresponding to emission reductions before 31 December, 2012 by an independent entity accredited by the JI Supervisory Committee.
ERUs from Russia will be affected. Russia was the second-biggest issuer of ERUs – 207 million -- in the 2008-2012 period, after Ukraine – 233 million -- according to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which oversees the JI mechanism. SM
(Source: EU Climate Change Committee, ICIS, 16 Jan 2013)
More Energy Overviews
Tags ERUs news, EU Climate Change Committee news,
Under the Japan-Mongolia agreement, detailed rules of which have yet to be finalized, eligible emission-reduction projects would involve parties from both nations working to cut emissions in Mongolia. Carbon-offset credits would be awarded on a case-by-case basis. Carbon credits earned from the initial projects won't be tradable at the outset, Japanese officials said. But in due course, Japan will seek to link the bilateral credits to carbon-trading programs that already exist in Japan as well as to international programs, such as the EU's Emissions Trading System, they said.
Japan has recently indicated that it was pursuing a strategy of signing bilateral pacts, as they can be more easily reached than multilateral agreements, such as the Kyoto Protocol. In December, signatories agreed to extend the U.N. climate change agreement through 2020, but this only commits a limited number of industrialized countries to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. (Source: Japan News, 8 Jan, 2013)
Tags CDM news, Carbon Offset news, Carbon Trading news,
. "The Kyoto Protocol, the sole legally binding plan to halt growing global emissions, applies only to rich, developed nations. It was due to expire this year, after the repeated failure of attempts to reach a global deal. The extension to 2020 has been weakened by the withdrawal of Russia, Canada and Japan, leaving only European Union members and 10 other countries facing binding targets to cut their emissions, which account for only about 15 per cent of the global total. The US has not ratified the protocol and China and India are exempt.
"If any progress is to be seen, it is that negotiators have put Kyoto behind them. This leaves the next annual UN climate talks to focus on a 2015 deadline agreed last year for negotiating a new treaty, to take effect from 2020, under which all countries rich and poor would tackle global warming. That will bring to a head the issue of how to divide responsibility between the rich world and developing nations, who say developed economies should bear the major share of the cost of cleaning up a problem for which they are historically responsible. Supported by China at the Doha talks, they pressed for a timetable for a promised tenfold increase in financial and technological aid to US$100 billion a year by 2020. Not surprisingly, this was resisted by the US, Europe and other developed nations facing economic woes at home.
"That said, Kyoto should not be considered a failure. It has created a vision and a way forward for co-operation in tackling pollution. But the process needs fixing, with targets having been missed and emissions getting worse. A new way has to be found for nations to work together to cut emissions. As the biggest and next-biggest polluters respectively, China, to whom the developing world looks for leadership, and the US, which opposes a global regime that imposes targets in favour of more flexibility for each nation, have leading roles to play in closing the gap between rich and poor nations." (Source: South China Morning Post, Dec. 31, 2012)
Tags Climate Change news, Global Warming news, Kyoto Protocol news,
The agreement calls on governments worldwide to take immediate action and put forward solutions to climate change in order to slow down global warming.
The T-EPA said Taiwan's government will set up a mechanism to measure, verify and manage carbon emissions as well as strengthen cooperation with other countries on climate change issues.
Taiwan will also promote education and training on climate change and work to raise public awareness of the issue.
(Source: Focus Taiwan, 16 Dec., 2012)
Tags Taiwan news, Climate Change news, Carbon Emissions news,
"It wasn't pretty, but Doha delivered just enough to keep the process moving. By resolving the key issues, all countries are now on a single track to enter into a new international climate agreement by 2015. Yet, much more remains to be done.
"Over the coming year, negotiators need to step up their intensity and hammer out a plan that will lead to an agreement that is ambitious and fair for all. Moreover, they need to raise their level of ambition in the near term, even before a new agreement kicks in. Getting on the right track will take a greater commitment and sense of urgency than we saw in Doha. There were a couple of bright spots, including the EU countries that stepped up with important financial pledges. But the United Nations is primarily a reflection of the political will of its members, and right now we're lacking leadership on climate (change) from most world powers.
"Following President Obama's re-election and the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, many people were watching to see if the U.S. would shift its strategy. The US made some gestures, but it didn't significantly change course. All eyes will be on the administration to see what further action it takes to lower emissions at home. President Obama's legacy -- like all world leaders -- will in part be measured by his response to the climate crisis.
"The stakes are high. Whether it's events like Typhoon Bopha and Hurricane Sandy, or record-breaking droughts and rapidly rising seas, the dangers of a warming planet cannot be ignored. The door is now open. It's up to all countries to step through and get on course to a strong and fair climate agreement." (Source: WRI, Jennifer Morgan, Director, Climate and Energy Program Dec. 8, 2012) Contact: World Resources Institute, (202) 729-7600, www.wri.org
Tags COP18 news, Climate Change news, WRI news,
The U.S. never joined Kyoto, partly because it didn't include China and other fast-growing developing countries. Canada formally withdrew from the accord a year ago. Countries aim to adopt in 2015 a wider treaty that would apply to all countries and enter force when the Kyoto extension expires.
Doha delegates also agreed to postpone until next year discussions on demands from developing nations for more cash to help them cope with the rising costs of mitigating disasters blamed on global warming. (Source: CBC, Dec. 8, 2012)
Tags Kyoto Accord news, Climate Change news, Global Warming news,
Taiwan's 54-member delegation that includes experts and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Transportation and Communications and Council of Agriculture, arrived in Doha Dec. 1 has participated in several meetings on the sidelines of the summit. (Source: Focus Taiwan, 4 Dec., 2012)
Tags COP18 news, Climate Change news,
Key conference issues include how to help emerging nations switch to climate-friendly energy sources and charting the course for a new treaty that would replace the Kyoto Protocol, which covers only developed countries.
The U.S. did not ratified Kyoto, which expires this year, primarily because it did not impose carbon emission limits on China and other emerging economies.
Australia and European countries are hoping that COP18 will agree to an extension of the existing pact until a wider treaty comes into force in 2020.
(Source: Gov't of NZ, Various Sources, AP, 3 Dec., 2012)
Tags Kyoto Protocol news, Carbon Emissions news,
In 2009, Japan pledged to cut its emissions by 25 percent by 2020 from the 1990 levels.
Su said Japan will remain obliged to reduce emissions and help developing countries do so, although the country does not plan to join in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, starting in 2013. (Source: Japan Times, Nov. 30, 2012)
Tags Kyoto Protocol news, Global Warming news, Climate Change news,
According to Russian Prime Minister Dimitry
Medvedev, Russia does not gain much from the Kyoto Protocol and should reconsider its participation and contends that Kyoto is
inefficient in its current form.
(Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines, Nov. 26, 2012)
Contact: Greenpeace, www.greenpeace.org
Tags Greenpeace news, Kyoto news, Climate Change news,
The Vietnamese scheme, which will be in line with regulations under the Kyoto Protocol, will control emission of of GHGs including carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous oxide (N2O), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Perfuorocarbons (PFCs) and Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). The plan set a target to reduce GHG emissions in the energy and transport sectors by 8 per cent from levels in 2005, along with a 20 per cent reduction in the agriculture sector.
Under the scheme the country will apply methods to absorb methane from landfill sites and through industrial waste water processing to reduce methane emissions by 5 per cent. Growing new forests and revitalizing existing forest areas are also measures to be applied to promote capacity to absorb the emissions. A domestic carbon credit market will also be established so that Viet Nam can join the international carbon market.
In addition, a national system to control GHGs is to be set up with the participation of relevant ministries and branches.
A finance mechanism and legal documents on managing GHG emissions will also be completed in accordance with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (Source: Vietnam Bridge, 26 Nov., 2012)
Tags Carbon Market news, CERs news, Greenhouse Gas news,
The Turn Down the Heat report was prepared by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics ahead of the next UN conference on climate change from November 26 to December 7 in Doha, Qatar. It gives a snapshot of the latest climate science, saying the Earth is on a path to become a 4-degree-Celsius-warmer planet by 2100. It found that current pledges to reduce greenhouse emissions blamed for global warming will not make much of a dent in the temperature rise.
At the last UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa, in December 2011, negotiators sealed a commitment to negotiate a broader long-range climate treaty but postponed a decision to December 2012 about extending the Kyoto Protocol. The five-year commitment under the Kyoto Protocol on global warming ends in December.
The European Union is practically alone in carrying out its obligations to reduce carbon emissions, and has insisted that emerging economies like economic powerhouse China, which were exempted from the Kyoto Protocol, and the U.S., which never ratified the treaty, start paying their share of the cost of soaring carbon emissions.
The question of whether the Kyoto Protocol should be extended to 2017 or 2020 was also left open in Durban. The grace period allows time for individual countries to calculate their goals for reducing carbon emissions.
Under the agreements in Durban, the 193 members of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change -- the umbrella for Kyoto -- have until 2015 to agree on a new legally-binding climate treaty, aimed at reducing greenhouse gasses.
The treaty would go into effect from 2020. (Source: World Bank, Times Live, 19 Nov, 2012) Contact: World Bank, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics, www.pik-potsdam.de
Tags Kyoto Protocol news, Global Warming news, Climate Change news,
To date, 880 of the registered Chinese projects have been approved, and the total issuance volume has reached 590 million tons of CO2 equivalent. This is a major contribution to the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, the report said.
(Source: Xinhua, Global Times, Nov. 21, 2012)
Tags CDM news, Carbon Emissions news,
"According to Oxford professor Dieter Helm, writing in an op-ed piece in the New York Times, any progress in CO2 reduction has been overwhelmed by new emissions in places such as China, which gobbles up coal and plans many more coal-fired electricity plants to meet its enormous energy appetite.
"Congress abandoned a cap and trade system for CO2 in 2010 although several states,(Illinois and Calif.) have some version of it. A system of cap and trade was useful for in 1990 program that has helped reduce sulfur dioxide emissions. Some regard setting carbon limits and then selling rights to pollute under that was the most economical and efficient way to go, even though anti-coal experts oppose it.
"Now, there are balloons being set aloft to see how a carbon tax might work. A Washington Post editorial thought a carbon tax would be a good idea and not just to stave off climate change. The Post quotes Resources for the Future, a think tank, as projecting that $25 per ton tax could raise $125 billion a year in new revenue -- more than would be provided by eliminating the home mortgage deduction.
"The idea is that big utilities would be forced to shift from high carbon fuels such as coal to less-carbon ones such as gas or wind. Coal prices have been badly undercut by cheaper gas at the moment and coal's percentage of the U.S. electricity mix has gone from about 45 percent to the mid-30s. This is not cast in concrete, however. Coal markets are notoriously cyclical and volatile and coal could just as quickly regain its cost advantages over competing natural gas. A partial recovery is already predicted next year as gas prices start to rise. (In Europe, for other reasons, gas is already three times as costly as in the US). "Now that the election is over and Obama has won, Big Coal and its allies don't have the momentum they did to paint him as an out-of-control regulator. Nor does Obama have carte blanche in Congress to push one idea or another.
"There are problems with a carbon tax. Lower income electricity't pay an unfair price for power. And if Europe establishes a carbon tax, and China does not, then China gets an automatic and unfair export subsidy, Helm says. Any carbon tax would have to be part of a global agreement, including one on energy imports.
"The plus side includes new ways to drum up revenue. Another is that if utilities are forced and have a legal excuse to reduce carbon, they may be more inclined to develop and install CCS technologies that may involve burning coal, although the general trend would be away from it. The simple truth, however, is that the U.S. needs to start doing something about CO2 or face more superstorms like Sandy. Blaming China can't serve as an excuse much longer." (Source: Peter Galuszka, Bacon's Rebellion, Nov. 12, 2012)
Tags Carbon Tax news, Cap-and-Trade news, CCS news,
The Kyoto 2 treaty aims to curb international greenhouse gas emissions through binding national reductions, although some of the world's biggest polluters, including the U.S. and China, refuse to sign on.
New Zealand's climate change minister, Tim Groser, says New Zealand would be better served in the future by joining the U.S., China and others in a nonbinding climate pledge under the U.N.Framework Convention.
Opponents said New Zealand is shirking its responsibilities and risking its international standing.
The Kyoto 2 treaty will run from 2013 to 2020. (Source: NZ Climate Change Ministry, CTV, Nov. 11, 2012)
Tags Kyoto Protocol news,
CDP surveyed 400 companies in Asia that it deemed most relevant to investors and comparable in terms of size and importance to the region's economy. The report shows that 32 percent of the 400 responded -- an increase of almost 20 percent from 27 percent in 2011. Twenty-three companies based in China responded, up from 10 in 2011. South Korean and Taiwanese companies were most likely to answer the questionnaire or provide some information.
Approximately 30 percent of 117 respondents identified near-term regulatory opportunities, while many indicated that they hope to generate carbon credits (CERS)for sale to companies covered by carbon-trading schemes. Emissions-trading systems in South Korea and Australia, both expected to be up and running in 2015, will allow companies to surrender a limited number of international CERs for emissions-reduction projects in countries with voluntary commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. Regional trials of carbon trading in China are also expected to demand carbon credits, to help meet a 17 percent carbon emissions per unit of GDP reduction target by 2015, as published in the country’s 12th Five-Year Plan.
Companies in many Asian countries will profit from selling CERs regulated under the UN Kyoto Protocol CDM. India and China currently generate the majority of projects that qualify for carbon credits under the mechanism globally. (Source: Carbon Disclosure Project, China Dialogue, 12 Nov., 2012) COntact: Carbon Disclosure Project, +44 (0) 20 7970 5660, www.cdproject.net
Tags Carbon Disclosure Project news,
France and Germany also made considerable GHG cuts while Spain and Italy's poor performance puts them in danger of missing their Kyoto targets, according to figures released by the European Environment Agency.
The EU as a whole will meet its target under the 1997 Kyoto Accord, which requires developed countries to cut their emissions by a total of just over 5 percent from 1990 levels by the end of 2012. Currently, EU member states are the only major countries pledging to continue the Kyoto protocol beyond the end of this year, when its current provisions expire.
(Source: European Environment Agency, The Guardian, 24 Oct., 2012) Contact: European Environment Agency, www.eea.europa.eu
Tags Greenhouse Gas Emissions news, Kyoto Accord news,
With few nations expected to agree on extending the 1997 Kyoto Protocol when its targets for industrialized nations expire this year, national governments will probably take the lead in creating carbon markets over the next few years, Andrei Marcu, head of the Centre for European Policy Studies' Carbon Market Forum in Brussels, said in an October 5 paper.
The UN needs rules to make sure new markets generate sufficient trading volume and allocate resources efficiently to emission projects, he said. The UN's CDM Executive Board should be expanded to authorize or coordinate national markets seeking to trade their permits globally, Marcu said. Countries that don't want to link with global markets wouldn't need such oversight, he said. According to the paper, the UN needs to develop the so-called Framework for Various Approaches under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to help oversee domestic programs.
Countries wanting to create CERs for global markets could choose one of two tracks to win approval, according to the Centre for European Policy Studies paper.
Under the first track, a so-called Market Regulatory Board would review and approve the domestic market for recognition, allowing its permits or credits to become International Compliance Units.
Alternatively, the board could set up a peer review of the domestic market. After the review, which would ensure compliance with yet-to-be-agreed environmental standards, the market could be recognized as international and its credits could be converted to international units.
Plans to link the EU and Australian greenhouse-gas-reduction programs also demonstrate there is an urgent need to make sure national or regional programs can fit together with minimum standards, according to the paper.
Australia said August 28 it will allow its emitters to use international credits including EU permits and UN Certified Emission Reductions for as much as half of their compliance needs, tightening the specific limit on UN offsets to 12.5 per cent from 50 per cent. The nation would scrap a floor price of $15 a metric ton that was set to take effect in 2015.
The two regions will start a partial link of their carbon markets by July 2015, allowing Australian companies to purchase European allowances immediately for future compliance. (Source: Sydney Morning Herald, Oct. 8, 2012)
Tags Kyoto Protocol news, Carbon Trading news, CERs news,
It is vital for everyone to work together to make the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference, to be held in the Qatari capital of Doha from 26 November to 7 December, "a major stepping stone to a global, robust and legally binding climate regime," said Mr. Ban. The world, he said, is witnessing the highest levels of emissions ever; the Arctic sea ice is again at an all-time low; and it is another record year for wild fires, droughts and flooding. Climate change is making weather patterns both extreme and unpredictable, contributing to volatility in global food prices, which means food and nutrition insecurity for the poor and the most vulnerable.
The Secretary-General has made food security a top priority through the Zero Hunger Challenge he launched at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Brazil in June.The initiative aims for a future where every individual has adequate nutrition and where all food systems are resilient. Its five objectives are to make sure that everyone in the world has access to enough nutritious food all year long; to end childhood stunting; to build sustainable food systems; to double the productivity and income of smallholder farmers, especially women; and to prevent food from being lost or wasted.
Ending hunger will mean climate-smart, climate-resilient agriculture, as well as policies that are water-smart, energy-efficient, and that promote inclusive green growth, Mr. Ban said. He called on governments to adopt the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol when they meet later this year in Doha. The first commitment period of the Protocol, the legally binding treaty to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, expires this year.
"The emission reduction targets of the new Kyoto treaty are not sufficient - we know that - but they are necessary starting point from which to build a future global agreement by 2015," he stated. It is also important to address the gap between fast-start finance and long-term finance so that by 2020 climate finance is being mobilized at the agreed level of $100 billion a year, he said, calling for accelerating efforts to make the Green Climate Fund, approved last year in Durban, fully operational. (Source: UN News Service, 27 Sept., 2012)
Tags Climate Change news,
SE Asian governments have introduced blending mandates for biofuels to boost their use in their countries. This is seen as a result of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol to curb their emissions, but also as a way to boost their agricultural sector and decrease their dependence on crude oil.
The challenges facing the region's biofuel industry include competition from the food industry and out-dated petroleum-fuel subsidies, both of which can be
overcome be enforcing blending legislation, removing petroleum subsidies and providing incentives for consumers and tax breaks for biofuel producers.
(Source: Frost & Sullivan, EcoSeed, 21 Sept., 2012)
Tags Biofuel news,
"A new study by Thomson Reuters Point Carbon showed that signatory countries will have accumulated more than 17 billion tonnes of surplus reduction permits by 2020. According to the report, the total surplus from the first Kyoto commitment period (2008-2012) already consists of 13.1 billion tonnes. The study estimates that under current rules, signatory countries will accumulate 3.6 billion tonnes by 2020. If Australia and New Zealand then decide not to join the second Kyoto commitment period (2012-2016), the combined surplus would be as high as 17.2 billion tonnes. 'That is more than Europe would emit over the course of five years and more than double what China annually emits. This is partly because Kyoto uses 1990 as the reference year. But just after 1990, economies in Central and Eastern Europe collapsed, which led to decreased industrial activity and emissions. This allowed these countries to stay under their emission limits and build up a surplus.
"At this moment the same thing is happening: we are in the midst of an economic crisis which again leads to lower emissions worldwide' According to last weeks European Environmental Agency report, EU emissions in 2011 fell to 17.5 percent below the 1990 level -- only 2.5 percent away from our final 2020 Kyoto goal. Although emissions are dropping worldwide, the build-up of surpluses is an enormous threat to the integrity of the Kyoto protocol. 'Of course dropping emissions is good news, but not in this case,' says Wyns.
"According to the Reuters Point Carbon study, the 3.6 billion surplus projection by 2020 would be realized under business-as-usual conditions without the government measures to reduce emissions. But most importantly, the enormous amount of surpluses causes the price of allowances to drop close to zero. At this moment, the price has already dropped to less than €one per tonne.
'The supply is thrice the demand," Anja Kollmuss, carbon market expert at the Brussels-based CDM Watch tells IPS. 'When prices go that close to zero it could lead to a collapse of the market. The allowances are useless to the countries that own them because there is no one willing to buy them. The trade will come to a halt. It's hard to see how there could possibly be a market under these conditions." (Source: TruthOut, Sept.15, 2012)
Tags Carbon Trading news, EU ETS news, Carbon Emissions news,
The report comes as peace talks continue between environmentalists and forestry industry representatives seeking to end the state's bitter 30-year forests "war".
Forest peace negotiators are haggling over 572,000 hectares earmarked for protection and, with only new reserves eligible for the carbon cash, the report could have a bearing on the talks.
CO2 representative James Bulinski said there were still hurdles for the state to jump, but countries like New Zealand were already seeing tens of millions of dollars flowing into their economies.
Tasmania's Liberal opposition said the report proved that forestry in the state was carbon positive.
"This study categorically debunks the Greens' false claims that forestry in Tasmania is contributing negatively to climate change," spokesman Peter Gutwein said. Tasmania's Climate Change Minister Cassy O'Connor added, "What this report tells us is that our forests are definitely worth more standing (than harvested)."
(Source: The Australian, Sept. 6, 2012)
Tags Forest Management news, Forest Carbon news,
According to Philips Lighting Solutions GM Megan Louw, lighting is one of the easiest ways to tackle the financial pressure of strained business conditions, rising electricity costs and the prospect of future carbon taxes. Lighting projects also help meet building efficiency standards and contribute to a brand's alignment with sustainability. In addition, changing to energy efficient lighting also contributes to reducing energy consumption.
Changing from incandescent to LED light bulbs can cut some 20% off building management costs. A permanent switch to energy efficiency occurs when an organization replaces its luminaries, so that incandescent bulbs can't be used, and changes its entire lighting design to get the best lighting for the least amount of energy. This can save 50-80% of the lighting bill.
Geoff Sinclair, head of carbon trading at Standard Bank, points out that making these changes presents a real opportunity but does also involve upfront costs for organizations. "Our energy efficient lighting project is designed to offset that cost by creating revenue from carbon credits.
(Source: Philips, LightingBiz Community, Aug. 29, 2012)
Contact: Philips Lighting Solutions, www.lighting.philips.com
Tags Standard Bank news, Energy Efficient Lighting news, Energy Efficiency news,
Under the program the pig farmers earn carbon credits for each ton of methane captured. When fully implemented, the program is expected to produce over 100,000 tons of carbon credits per year from dozens of pig farms across the country. This is the first program of activities from the Philippines to be registered and it is the first registered biogas PoA in the animal waste sector in south-east Asia.
Carbon finance facilitates financial rewards through carbon credits for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by emitters in developing countries, like the Philippines, through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol.
The CDM allows industrialized countries and companies to fulfill some of their greenhouse gas reduction commitments through the purchase of carbon credits in clean-and-green projects in developing countries, according to the World Bank.
(Source: World Bank, UN, Aug 8, 2012)
Tags World Bank news, Methane news,
The panel will announce its recommendations in mid September, immediately after the sixty-ninth meeting of the CDM EB in Bangkok. Its report, which will be submitted to the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, is expected to urge the adoption of new, far-reaching ground rules to help the CDM meet the challenges of the future.
In formulating its recommendations, the panel considered conclusions from an extensive programme of meetings with stakeholders and results from research commissioned by the panel in the areas of the impact, governance and future context of the CDM. The panel conducted 22 major stakeholder engagement meetings and dozens of informal consultations in 13 countries, including in Australia, China, Japan, India, USA, UK, Germany, Belgium, Thailand, Namibia and Ethiopia. Country negotiators in the UNFCCC have been heard, as has the NGO community, investor associations, support bodies to the CDM, market regulators, policy makers and the research community.
The research programme commissioned by the panel focused on the CDM's internal workings, future direction as well as impact on mitigation and sustainable development and was undertaken by a team with broad CDM experience.
Although the dialogue was an initiative of the CDM Executive Board, the panel has conducted its work independently and made its own recommendations. (Source: UNFCCC, 27 July, 2012) Contact: UNFCCC, Irini Roumboglou, Communications Officer, [email protected], +49 (0) 228 815 1670, www.unfccc.int;
Tags UNFCCC news, CDM news, Carbon Markets news, Kyoto Protocol news,
Under the Kyoto protocol, countries are assigned a set target for reducing their GHG (CO2) emissions and are penalized if they breach this ceiling.
Those within their target can sell their "carbon credits" to countries or companies above their target. (Source: Gov. of Romania, PR, 16 July, 2012)
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The failure of the international community to agree on a common goal in a post-2012 Kyoto framework has damaged the confidence of the private sector, and played a role in lowering the price of carbon. Carbon is traded at national and regional levels in various markets, and future prices and stability have always been a concern for private players and policy makers. Several models have been developed to forecast the market price of carbon, although outcomes differ significantly. This is due to the nature of the carbon market, which is affected and driven by a complex set of subjective factors. Geo-climatic policies and energy policies, geo-politics, global economic growth, crude oil price, coal prices and the demand and supply scenario all help to drive and shape the carbon market. The European Union Allowances (EUAs) under the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is the largest cap and trade carbon trading mechanism, followed by Certified Emission Reduction (CER) under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Both of these programmes come under the Kyoto Protocol. EUAs and CERs are used to offset the same amount of CO2 emissions, but are not equal in price due to regulatory differences for the use of CERs in the EU ETS.
The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) in Australia and the New Zealand Emission Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) in New Zealand are also important, and more regional and national markets will be operational in the future. Such developments are expected to boost the carbon market.
The short-term view of the carbon market is pessimistic, as the prolonged European sovereign debt crisis, over-supply of carbon units, and uncertainties under the Kyoto Protocol are expected to keep prices low. The EU recession means that emissions will grow less than expected, in correlation to overall economic growth. As the EU shows signs of recovery from the recession, carbon prices will follow the same path, although this seems unlikely in the next few years. The economic conditions in the Euro zone and outcomes of the Kyoto Protocol will determine the global price of carbon in the long-term, with government commitments to tackling climate change dictating the scenario. The oversupply of allowances will keep pulling the price down over the long-term, although global macro economic conditions will also play a role, and prices will increase if India, China and Brazil also promise to meet certain targets by 2020.
(Source: GlobalData, PR, ESI Africa, July 9, 2012)
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The report said many governments are not implementing policies to meet their emissions reduction pledges for 2020, and could increase rather than close the gap between real emissions and what is needed to limit warming.
Negotiators from over 180 nations are meeting in Bonn, Germany, until today, to work toward getting a new global climate pact signed by 2015 and to ensure ambitious emissions cuts are made after the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of this year.
Procedural wrangling and a reluctance to raise emissions cuts due to economic constraints is threatening progress, however.
(Source: Arab News, 24 May, 2012)
The EU included aviation in its contentious but legally binding ETS effective January 1, 2012, prompting outrage among several countries outside the EU which believe the EU's unilateral move was extra-territorial. The EU's legislation means all airlines operating in EU airports must have their CO2 emissions regulated. Under the rules of the system, airlines must hand over enough CO2 allowances by April 30, 2013, to match their verified CO2 emissions in 2012. While airlines can apply for free permits to cover CO2 emitted, these will likely fall short of requirements, and they will have to buy allowances in the market to make up any shortfall. Airlines that fail to cover emissions with allowances face a penalty of €100 for each mt of CO2 not covered.
The diplomatic row over how to deal with aviation's CO2 emissions has already threatened to blow up into an international trade war, with China reportedly holding back on major European aircraft purchase deals until a resolution is found.
The EU's legislation includes provisions allowing any country to opt out of the EU ETS if it takes equivalent domestic measures to deal with aviation's CO2 emissions.
Several Non-EU airlines and their governments have said any market-based approach to aviation's CO2 emissions should be implemented globally through ICAO -- an element that was agreed under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. (Source: ICAO, 11 May, 2012) Contact: Denis Chagnon, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council, (514) 212-1323, [email protected], www.icao.int
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The issue of which countries should bear the greatest responsibility for cutting GHG emissions has been a sticking point in international negotiations for two decades. Under the original settlement reached in 1992 at the Rio Earth summit, and formalized in the 1997 Kyoto protocol, some rapidly emerging economies such as China were left out of the roster of obligations to curb emissions. However, China is now the world's biggest emitter and second biggest economy, prompting many nations to question whether the divisions that were relevant 20 years ago should still apply today.
Connie Hedegaard, the European climate chief, who was hosting the meeting, said: "Countries have recognized that the old division between developed and developing countries -- there are limits to how useful that is in the 21st century."
She added that countries wanted "something more dynamic" in terms of determining the contributions to emissions reductions made by richer and poorer countries, than the current system, by which "every two decades countries decide on the categorization".
Negotiations on a possible new global treaty that would succeed the Kyoto protocol are to resume again this November, after last year's talks concluded with a resolution to write a new agreement by 2015 that would come into force from 2020.
(Source: The Guardian, 9 May, 2012)
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Many of these credits are held by sovereign governments, which may use them for compliance with targets through this year under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, said Richard Chatterton, an analyst for New Energy Finance in London. Chatterton forecast use of banned credits in 2012, the final year they're allowed, will fall 24 percent to 135 million tons.
Factories and power stations used 254.6 million offsets in the bloc's cap-and-trade program, the data show. Offsets may be used to cut compliance costs with Europe's carbon trading system.
Emitters may use 277 million tons of credits next year, 8.6 percent more than last year, Chatterton forecast. That's less than the 300 million tons forecast by Deutsche Bank AG and 400 million tons by Barclays Plc. (Source: Barclays, New Energy Finance,, 2 May, 2012)
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Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC executive secretary, said that the loans would help expand the carbon trading mechanism, adding that the new financing would be offered at an opportune time given that from next year the EU is expected to limit the number of CERs it buys from industrial gas projects in China. "The CDM Loan Scheme is a chance to improve the access to and spread of the CDM, particularly in Africa," Figueres said at the African Carbon Forum, last week.
The loans will support the design, validation and registration of projects under the UN-approved CDM carbon offset scheme. After the project is validated and registered as a CDM project, it can then generate certified emission reduction credits that can be traded in carbon markets.
To access loans, projects will have to meet a number of criteria, including a high probability of registration and a reasonable expectation of generating at least 7,500 certified emission reduction (CER) credits per year for projects in least developed countries (LDCs) and 15,000 CERs per year for projects in non-LDCs.
The UN's CDM allows countries to meet their emissions reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol via third party investment in independently approved emissions reduction projects with the return of carbon credits for sale on the carbon market. Over 4,000 projects in around 70 countries are approved under the scheme, which aims to funnel green investment into developing economies. (Source: UNFCCC, 24 April, 2012)
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The cut in GHGs since 1990 was the result of switching from coal to gas for electricity generation and the fact that what is consumed is more often manufactured in countries such as China, rather than because of policies to tackle climate change, the committee said in a report on Consumption-Based Emissions Reporting. The committee urged the government to consider consumption-based emissions in designing climate change policies and working out data on UK's greenhouse gas emissions.
The MPs asked the government to take on board its independent climate advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, to work out how the UK could incorporate emissions from imported goods in its policies.
A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said: "We account for our emissions according to international rules that are followed by all countries that are signed up to the Kyoto Protocol, and that are the basis for international negotiations on climate change."
The DECC believes it is difficult to calculate and verify figures relating to consumption-based emissions, and it would be hard to negotiate a global reduction treaty on this basis. (Source: DECC,BBC News, 19 April, 2012) Contact: Department of Energy and Climate Change, +44 0300 060 4000, www.decc.gov.uk
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The EU targets oblige Ireland to make the cuts in non-Emissions Trading Scheme GHGs, which relate to emissions from the agriculture, transport, residential and waste sectors.
The EPA said Ireland would comfortably comply with its Kyoto 2008-2012 obligations, which commit the State to limiting emissions at 13 per cent above 1990 levels by 2012. The State would achieve the targets "without any further purchase of credits" under the ETS.
It also predicted a total "distance to target" for the Kyoto Protocol period of 4.1-5.1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, significantly less than the 6.3- 8.1 million tonnes it projected this time last year. The reduction was primarily attributable to a reduction in transport emissions over the 2008-2012 period.
(Source: EPA, irishtimes.com, April 17, 2012)
Fortum estimated the three units, which have a total capacity of 1,052 MW of electricity, can reduce GHG emissions by 1.4 million metric tons of CO2 by the end of 2012. The Russian Ministry for Economic Development approved the same Kyoto protocol status to two other enlargement projects, the Pervomayskaya CHP-14 and Yuzhnaya CHP-22 of OAO TGC-1 in St. Petersburg.
Fortum owns 25% of TGC-1. (Source: Fortum, April, 10, 2012) Contact: Vesa Koivisto, Development Manager, Fortum, +358-50-453-6322, [email protected], www.fortum.com
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At issue is whether CARB's "performance-based" approach to generating offsets creates an incentive for people to reduce emissions or whether it just pays a bonus to people who would have reduced emissions anyway. The performance-based approach was pioneered in the voluntary carbon market and requires just one protocol for all projects of a certain type, as opposed to the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which requires the development of individual protocols for unique project scenarios.
The plaintiffs, the Citizens Climate Lobby and Our Children's Earth Foundation are seeking a repeal of CARB's offsets provision, making California the first state to defend the merits of broad-based (versus project-based) tools in court. The issue is as old as offsetting itself, because it asks whether a paid-for reduction is "additional" (meaning the payment made the reduction happen) or whether it would have happened even without the payment under a business-as-usual scenario. The California law, like most climate-change legislation, says that offsets can only be awarded if "the reduction is in addition to any GHG reduction otherwise required by law or regulation, and any other greenhouse gas emission reduction that otherwise would occur."
In contrast to top-down initiatives stemming from the UN CDM, CARB's offset methods originated in the unregulated realm of voluntary carbon offsetting. Running with precedents incubated in the voluntary market, CARB last year adopted language from four protocols for developing projects that reduce emissions by covering livestock manure, destroying ozone depleting substances (ODS) and improving urban and other forest management. The protocols establish a generic emissions scenario against which all reductions in a common sector are weighed and admitted into the program or not depending on their performance. These protocols, all written by California's not-for-profit Climate Action Reserve (CAR) have been used by CAR since inception.
With the CDM entering its seventh year of operation, governments are claiming the benefit of hindsight and they -- and recently CDM decision-making bodies, too -- are going the way of California. Although still a work in progress, they feel that standardized methods present an opportunity to scale up project activity by reducing transaction costs. (Source: EcoSystem Marketplace, 4 April, 2012) Contact: CARB, Robert DuVall, (916) 324-5930, [email protected], www.arb.ca.gov
Tags Climate Action Reserve news, California Air Resources Board news, California Carbon Offset news,
Japan, the world's fifth-largest GHG emitter, is reviewing energy and environment policies in the wake of a radiation crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc's Fukushima Daiichi plant, triggered by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami. But Tokyo has maintained its plan to buy a total of 100 million tonnes CO2 equivalent in U.N. CERs to help meet its goal of cutting emissions by 6 percent below 1990 levels on average over the 2008-2012 period.
Recent government data shows Japan's GHG emissions rose 3.9 percent in 2010/11, the first annual rise since 2007/08, due partly to unusual weather increasing energy consumption.
The data did not take into account the full impact of last year's earthquake and tsunami, or the Fukushima atomic crisis. (Source:NEDO, Reuters, April, 2, 2012)
Contact: New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Washington, DC Office, (202) 822-9298, www.nedo.go.jp
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"That's about P14.7 million per 1,000 hectares," Alcala said.
Alcala noted the country has 3.2 million hectares of coconut land which represents a potential carbon sink while citing available valuation under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol. Carbon sinks are natural or artificial reservoirs of carbon.
(Source: Philippine Information Agency, March, 25, 2012)
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The projected 125 million tonne surplus, which assumes Australia continues on its current emissions trajectory, represents about a quarter of one year's worth of carbon output. Australia produces about 560 to 580 million tonnes of carbon a year. Australia was given a generous target of 108 per cent of 1990 emissions under the Kyoto protocol. Other reasons for better-than-expected carbon reduction was a drop in electricity demand because of the weather and as people responded to higher power prices by cutting their consumption. Also, changes to land use laws during the 1990s had reduced deforestation, making it easier to meet the target based on 1990 emissions.
The finding comes amid a debate over the starting price of $23 per tonne under Labor's carbon tax, rising to about $25 by 2015, when it becomes an emissions trading scheme with a floating price. With the current international carbon price closer to $10, business groups are arguing $23 is too high.
Jordan said that if the international carbon price fell as low as $5 towards the end of the decade, as was reportedly forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the government would need to take action, perhaps extending the fixed price period. Such a low carbon price would not change behaviour or encourage investment in low-carbon energy sources.
The debate came as a budget submission from the peak energy body expressed ''deep concern'' that the design of the carbon price is geared more towards raising revenue in the early years to meet budget surpluses than sensible carbon mitigation.
The Energy Supply Association of Australia warned the design of the carbon price would allow the government to change the scheme in future to maintain revenue levels.(Source: SMH, March 20, 2012)
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CERs are U.N.-backed carbon credits issued to emissions-reduction projects in developing countries under Kyoto's Clean Development Mechanism. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol is the world's only legally-binding pact that forces most industrialized countries to cut or limit their emissions of climate-changing gases.
The Protocol's first commitment period runs from 2008 through 2012. U.N. climate negotiators meeting in South Africa last December agreed to extend the pact for at least another five years. The European Union's emissions trading scheme, the world's biggest carbon market, allows companies to the use a limited number of U.N.-backed offsets to comply with EU climate targets. Launched in 2005, the EU cap-and-trade scheme's third trading phase starts in 2013 and runs through 2020.
The EU carbon market covers around half of the 27-nation bloc's carbon dioxide emissions by setting a cap for more than 10,000 power and industrial plants. Airlines using EU airports joined the scheme from the start of this year.
EEX said it will launch a derivatives market for EU Aviation Allowances (EUAAs) on April 30, and reiterated that a spot market for EUAAs will follow by the middle of the year. (Source: EEX, Reuters, March 20, 2012) Contact: EEX, Katrin Berken, +49 341 2156-202, [email protected], www.eex.com
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Ukraine has sold more than 100 million tons of AAUs since 2009, the most of any developed country. Ukraine was suspended from emissions trading in October, 2011, after the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change uncovered flaws in the country's official estimates of its emissions before 2008. (Source: The Moscow Times, March 12, 2012)
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