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Swiss Planning 50 pct GHG Reduction by 2020 (Int'l)
Date: 2015-03-02
In Switzerland, the environment ministry has announced that Switzerland aims to reduce its GHG emissions by 50 pct by 2030 in relation to 1990 levels, of which 30 pct must be achieved domestically, but the rest will be carried out abroad. The move was approved by cabinet in November 2014, but was only made public on Friday.

A new international climate agreement, which will involve all states from 2020, will be concluded at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015. In the meantime, all UNFCCC member states are required to state their commitments for the post 2020-period ahead of the meeting.

On an national level, a draft revision of the CO2 Act will be submitted for consultation in mid-2016. It added that measures already implemented meant that Switzerland emitted fewer GHGs now than in 1990, despite the gross national product increasing by 36 pct. during the same period. The country has fulfilled its emissions reduction target for the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol.

This commitment has been increased for the period 2013-2020. The CO2 Act sets out a reduction in gas emissions of 20 pct by 2020 through domestic measures, including CO2 tax on heating fuel and the lowering of CO2 emissions from new cars. But the act will have to be changed to take into account the post 2020 measures. (Source: swissinfo.ch, Mar., 2015)

Tags GHG news,  Greenhouse Gass Emitions news,  

Ontario Considering Carbon Tax (Ind. Report)
Date: 2015-01-14
In Canada, where individual provinces set their own energy policies, the province of Ontario has announced plans to join Quebec and British Columbia in setting and enforcing a price on greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, despite opposition from the federal government in Ottawa. The province also plans to join Quebec and British Columbia in enforcing tougher climate laws.

Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper opposes a carbon tax on the grounds that it would penalize the oil and gas industry especially in oil-rich Alberta, which happens to be his political base.

On a national basis, Canada is committed to curbing emissions by 17 pct against 2005 levels by 2020, but dropped out the Kyoto Protocol when it looked like it would miss its 2020 target. (Source: Various Sources, RTCC, Jan., 2015)

Tags Canada news,  Carbon Tax news,  Climate Change news,  CO2 news,  Carbon Emissions news,  

Heartland Weighs-In on Lima Agreement (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Heartland Institute
Date: 2014-12-19
"Some opinion leaders are asserting that the 'firewall' between developing and developed countries has been breached with the Lima Agreement, and that now both poor and wealthy countries will be treated the same with respect to keeping their emission reduction commitments. This is highly improbable.

"The very first line in the new Lima Call for Climate Action states: 'Reiterating that the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP) for Enhanced Action shall be under the Convention and guided by its principles.' And those convention principles are clear: 'Economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of the developing country Parties.'

"Developed nations do not have this option and will be held to their commitments no matter how it impacts their economies and societies. Significantly decreasing the use of fossil fuels, the source of the least expensive energy in the world, will definitely impede 'economic and social development and poverty eradication.' That means, ultimately, developing countries will not be held to greenhouse gas reduction targets at all.

"The firewall is as strong as ever. We are being sucked into another Kyoto Protocol." (Source: Heartland Institute, Tom Harris, Exec. Dir., International Climate Science Coalition, Policy Advisor, Energy and Environment, The Heartland Institute, 17 Dec., 2014) Contact: Heartland Institute, Tom Harris, (312) 377-4000, tom.harris@climatescienceinternational.net, www.climatescienceinternational.net, www.heartland.org

Editor's Note: Energy Overviews neither agrees nor disagrees with the Heartland Institute's comments which are presented to provide balanced coverage of the issues.

Tags Heartland Institute news,  Climate Change news,  

NZ Carbon Farming, Mighty River Power Lock Horns over Carbon Credit Contract (Int'l., Ind. Report)
New Zealand Carbon Farming,Mighty River Power
Date: 2014-11-28
In New Zealand, New Zealand Carbon Farming (NZCF), the country's largest supplier of post-1989 bulk carbon credits, is suing Mighty River Power (MRP) for $34.7 million over liability for carbon credits MRP contracted to purchase as part of its efforts to offset carbon emissions from electric power generation.

NZCF's legal claim centers on the methodology used to calculate the amount of carbon credits produced by a forest under the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and a contract dispute with MRP over carbon credits under a 15-year contract for NZCF's Harwarden Forest in North Canterbury.

MRP is contesting the claim which would mean it would be required to purchase more carbon units from the supplier than was originally forecast because the contract included a pro-rata scale-up or -down clause if the amount of carbon sinks produced by the forest was altered under new methodology.The dispute is working its way through the country's legal system.

NZCF does not cap the use of internationally sourced emissions credits and with New Zealand's withdrawal from the Kyoto protocol, New Zealand emitters are unable to purchase international units from next year. (Source: NZ Carbon Farming, Nov. 19, 2014) Contact: New Zealand Carbon Farming, Matt Walsh, Managing Director, http://nzcarbonfarming.com; Mighty River Power, http://www.mightyriver.co.nz

Tags Carbon Farming news,  Carbon Credits news,  Carbon Credit Trading news,  

UNECE Nations Seeking CCS Financial Incentives (Ind. Report)
U.N. Economic Commission for Europe
Date: 2014-11-26
A statement from 56 member countries of the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is calling for fiscal incentives for carbon capture as part of a new global climate change agreement that replaces the Kyoto Protocol. The new agreement is expected to be concluded at a meeting of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in December 2015.

The UNECE recommendation says that commercial development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) does not have enough political support, and should have at least as much as other low carbon technologies. "A post-Kyoto international agreement should accept a broad array of fiscal instruments to encourage CCS/CCUS (carbon capture utilization and storage), but the selection of instruments should be left to the discretion of national governments," a UNECE statement said. Governments should also work together to cover the high cost of CCS demonstration projects, UNECE said. (Source: UNECE, Mail Online, Reuters, 25 Nov., 2014) Contact: U.N. Economic Commission for Europe, www.unece.org

Tags Kyoto Protocol news,  Carbon Capture news,  Climate Change news,  

"Carbon Policies Futile" (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Carbon Emissions
Date: 2014-10-29
"So the European Union (EU) is to cut its carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030, relative to 1990. By doing so, it hopes to save the world.

"The futility of its policies soon becomes clear after a modicum of analysis. In 1998, the world signed up to the Kyoto Protocol, which hoped to see a reduction to less than 1990 emissions by 2012. Instead, emissions grew by 55 percent.

"To be true, the EU made some progress. Largely due to the economic downturn after 2008, the emissions of the 12 nations that had been members of the EU in 1990 were 7 percent less by 2012. The UK, Denmark, France, Germany and Italy all managed to reduce their emissions, but Spain's emissions were up by more than 40 percent and Ireland's, Norway's and Portugal's by more than 20 percent . Moreover, Germany's emissions are due to increase over the next few years as it constructs more than a dozen new coal-fired power stations to replace its nuclear fleet.

"But the best measure of the futility of the EU's ambitions comes from the signal that the world is not turning from fossil fuels as the carbon cars hope. Every year since 1990, fossil fuels have made up 87 percent of the world's primary energy supply." (Source: Prof. Philip Lloyd Energy Institute, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa, Oct. 27, 2014) Contact: Prof. Philip Wood, Cape Peninsula University, +27 21 959 6767, www.cput.ac.za

Tags Carbon Emissions news,  Climate Ch news,  Global Warmingange news,  

Peruvian Env. Minister Calls for Climate Change Mitigation Commitment from Lima Meeting (Int'l.)
Kyoto Protocol
Date: 2014-07-16
In Lima, Peru's Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal is calling for a "common but differentiated responsibility" between industrialized and emerging economies in order to mitigate climate change. According to Pulgar-Vidal, differences between countries must be solved before the twentieth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 20), scheduled to take place in Lima later this year. Pulgar-Vidal will be chairing the conference.

Pulgar-Vidal says his and the Lima conferences goal is to focus on a draft agreement as it is the only way to move towards a strong COP in Paris. Likewise, the Peruvian Minister pointed out the COP 20 is the last step towards the potentially pivotal 2015 summit in Paris, France, where a new international climate agreement to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol is expected to take shape. In Paris, countries are expected to sign off a global agreement to limit warming to below 2C above pre-industrial levels -- a ceiling deemed safe by some scientists and politicians. (Source: Andina, 15 July, 2014)

Tags COP20 news,  UNFCCC news,  Kyoto Protocol news,  Climate Change news,  Climate Change Mitigation news,  Carbon Emissions news,  

Norway Plans to Purchase 21 Million CERs (Int'l., Ind. Report)
Nordic Environment Finance Corporation , Norwegian Carbon Procurement Facility
Date: 2014-07-09
In its newsletter, the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) reports that Norway will purchase 21 million U.N. backed certified emission reductions (CERs) for an average price of €2.28 each in its international tender to purchase carbon offsets. NEFCO, which will manage the tender for Norway, is closing the first procurement under the Norwegian Carbon Procurement Facility (NorCaP), which purchases carbon offsets above market prices to give a lifeline to tenuous projects. A second tender will probably be launched in September.

The credits bought by Norway will be used to help the country meet its targets to reduce emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. (Source: NEFCO, Reuters, 7 July, 2014) Contact: Nordic Environment Finance Corporation, +380 44 287 0106, info@nefco.org, www.nefco.org

Tags CERs news,  Kyoto Protocol news,  

Annual EU GHG Inventory 1990--2012 Inventory Report 2014 -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
EU ETS, European Union
Date: 2014-06-16
The attached report (technical report No 9/2014) is the European Union's annual submission of the EU's greenhouse gas inventory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. It presents greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2012 for EU-28, EU-15, individual Member States and economic sectors.

Italy made up 45 percent of the EU's emission reduction in 2012. Poland also contributed significantly to the reduction by decreasing its solid fuel consumption, while By contrast, solid fuel consumption increased in the UK and Germany.

The EEA report suggests that the EU may achieve its goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020 ahead of time. This objective is part of the EU's 2020 Climate and Energy Package, accepted in 2007 by EU leaders, which also sets further goals such as raising the share of EU energy consumption produced from renewable resources to 20 percent and improving the trading block's energy efficiency by 20 percent.

Access report HERE. (Source: EU, European Environmental Agency, June, 2014) Contact: EEA, www.eea.europa.eu; UNFCCC, www.unfccc.org

Tags Greenhouse Gas news,  CO2 news,  Greenhouse Gas Inventory news,  (UNFCCC) news,  

Aussies Falling Short of Pledged Carbon Cuts, report says (Int'l)
Date: 2014-06-13
Australia will achieve less than one-third of its pledged carbon emission cuts by the end of the decade, according to the Australian carbon market annalist firm Reputex. Since taking office last September, Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government has methodically dissected a number of the previous government's policies and institutions that were intended to drive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

In July, the Abbott government plans to repeal the nation's carbon tax and replace it with a A$2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund that will pay big emitters to cut their carbon levels.

According to Reputex' report, the fund will fall far short of meeting a target of cutting emissions to 5 percent below 2000 levels by 2020, as well as miss Australia's international obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. Australia must cut around 420 million tonnes of CO2 by the end of the decade if it is going to meet its goal. (Source: South China Morning Post, Australian, Others, 12 June, 2014)

Tags Australia Carbon Tax news,  Carbon Emissions news,  

IMF Chief Calls for Pricing Carbon Emissions (Ind. Report)
International Monetary Fund
Date: 2014-06-11
Speaking in Montreal, Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund told an international economic conference that whether it's a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, a mechanism is needed to reflect the cost of emissions to encourage less energy consumption.

According to Legarde, energy powerhouses countries need a proactive approach to protect the environment and not simply wait for a deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol. Countries cannot simply ignore environmental cost factors in the use of fossil fuels, including air pollution and waste water. Lagarde added that the economic benefits of growth in the energy sector must be widely shared by attracting people with skills not only to oil-producing areas but also by increasing jobs among those living in non resource rich areas. (Source: International Monetary Fund, Canadian Press, Others, 9 June, 2014) Contact: International Monetary Fund, Christine Legarde, www.forbes.com/profile/christine-lagarde, www.imf.org

Tags Kyoto Protocol news,  International Monetary Fund news,  

UK Deriving Emissions linked to Climate Change Network £918,000 Funding Renewed (Int'l., Funding)
Date: 2014-05-09
A network of integrated greenhouse gas measurements in the UK and Ireland -- the first of its kind in Europe -- has been awarded renewed funding of £918,000 by the UK Deriving Emissions linked to Climate Change Network (UK DECC) to cover ongoing operation costs.

The UK DECC was launched in 2011 by researchers at the University of Bristol, led by Professor Simon O'Doherty in the Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group.

The DECC network consists of four stations in the UK and Ireland which make high-frequency measurements of all major greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and a suite of halocarbons. The measurements are used in conjunction with an atmospheric transport model to infer emissions and to better understand the processes that drive these emissions.

The network has allowed researchers to improve understanding of unknown or unreported sources of greenhouse gases in the UK. The UK's emissions are reported to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as part of the Kyoto Protocol. (Source: UK DECC, 8 May, 2014) Contact: UK DECC, http://www.bristol.ac.uk

Tags UK DECC news,  Carbon Emissions news,  

UNFCCC Releases COP, CMP Reports -- Reports Attached (Ind. Report)
UNFCCC, International Institute for Sustainable Development
Date: 2014-02-10
The UNFCCC Secretariat has released the reports of the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) and the 9th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 9). The reports contain the COP 19 and CMP 9 decisions taken at the Warsaw Conference and the proceedings from the sessions of COP 19 and CMP 9.

The reports are available HERE. (Source: International Institute for Sustainable Development, UNFCCC, Feb., 2014) read more: Contact: IISD, (204) 958-7700, info@iisd.ca, www.iisd.org; UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres, Secretary, +49 (228) 815-1000, secretariat@unfccc.int, www.unfccc.int

Tags IISD news,  UNFCCC news,  COP 19 news,  Carbon Emissions news,  Kyoto Protocol news,  

ICS Seeks IMO Accord on Maritime Emissions (Int'l)
International Chamber of Shipping
Date: 2013-12-04
The London-headquartered International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), a global shipowners trade association, has asked the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to outline its ideas on global maritime CO2 emissions regulations. The request is part of the ICS' effort to ensure the primacy of a global IMO framework for addressing the reduction of the shipping industry's CO2 emissions in the face of proposals by the European Commission for unilateral regional regulations that will apply to international shipping trading to the EU.

The ICS has suggested that IMO Member States should initially focus on developing regulations for the mandatory reporting of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by internationally trading ships, deferring further discussions on how the information collected might subsequently be used to develop additional efficiency measures. ICS hopes that if governments can agree to approach their work in distinct stages, IMO Member States can proceed towards the early adoption of mandatory CO2 monitoring and reporting measures that would be enforced worldwide. The ICS suggests this could be done relatively quickly, and might be acceptable to those governments that may not yet be ready to commit to more radical CO2 reduction measures for shipping such as efficiency indexing.

ICS believes that focusing on monitoring and reporting measures now would not prejudice the positions of such countries at the high-level U.N. climate change talks on a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol, which are scheduled to be completed by UNFCCC in Paris in 2015. (Source: ICS. arabiansupplychain.com, Dec. 3, 2013) Contact: International Chamber of Shipping, +44 20 7090 1460, info@ics-shipping.org, http://www.ics-shipping.org; International Maritime Organization, +44 (0)20 7735 7611, www.imo.org

Tags International Maritime Organization news,  Maritime Emissions news,  CO2 Emissions news,  International Chamber of Shipping news,  

China Commits to Cut CO2 Emissions (Int'l., Ind. Report)
Carbon, National Development and Reform Commission
Date: 2013-11-15
Xunhua is reporting that China will participate in a legally-binding global climate treaty for the post-2020 period if consensus can be reached among all parties, a Chinese official said Monday. The official added that China's goal is to properly deal with climate change through the concerted efforts of all parties.

China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is calling for exchanges and understanding from all parties for a final agreement.

The NDRC aims to lay the groundwork for a new global climate pact that sets post-2020 targets on emission cuts and to make sure that it can be signed in 2015 and take effect in 2020 as scheduled. The new pact is set to replace the Kyoto Protocol, the first global document with legally-binding targets for developed nations whose second commitment period will end in 2020.

China has committed to voluntarily cut emissions per unit of economic output by between 40 percent and 45 percent on 2005 levels by 2020, although it is exempt from emissions cut targets under the Kyoto Protocol. (Source: Global Times, Various Other, 12 Nov., 2013) Contact: National Development and Reform Commission, en.ndrc.gov.cn

Tags China Carbon Emissions news,  Kyoto Protocol news,  

Japan's CO2 Emissions on the Rise (Int'l., Ind. Report)
Date: 2013-10-09
Last year, Japan's GHG emission rose to their second highest level due, in part, to the loss of nuclear energy resulting from the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Japanese utilities had little choice but a return to fossil fuel to make up for the loss of nuclear power as the government ordered all reactors to go offline for maintenance and safety checks.

According to the figures released from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry last week, Japan produced 1.207 billion metric tons of CO2 last fiscal year, which ended March 2013; a 2.8 percent increase from the previous fiscal year and a7.4 percent higher than the year before the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown in 2011. It is also 14 percent higher than in 1990-91, which is considered the benchmark year for CO2 emissions as per the Kyoto Protocol. It is, however, lower than the 1.218 billion tons during 2007-08, the year before the global financial crisis. (Source: Japan Daily Press, 8 Oct., 2013)

Tags Carbon Emissions news,  

China Helping Burma Enter UN Carbon Market (Int'l, Ind. Report)
Burma,China,Carbon Market
Date: 2013-09-06
In Beijing, the Xinhua news agency is reporting that Burma has signed a deal to develop carbon-cutting projects under the UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) with China's Sunshine Kaidi New Energy Group, a technology investment firm. Under the agreement, Sunshine Kaidi will assist Burma in determining the potential of developing CDM projects in the country and fund project development.

The UN CDM allows projects in developing countries that cut GHG emissions to generate carbon credits, which can be sold to developed-nation governments and companies seeking to meet emission targets. Once a multi-billion dollar market, the CDM has tumbled 90-percent over the last two-and-a-half years as the economic crisis and weak climate ambitions in rich countries have left the market over-supplied by billions of permits this decade. CDM credits currently trade at an unprofitable €0.60 per ton of CO2 equivalent in the EU market.

To date, one Burma-based CDM project has been approved by the United Nations, while six more are in early stages of development, according to a Thomson Reuters Point Carbon project database. (Source: The Irrawaddy, 5 Sept., 2013)

Tags Carbon Market news,  Kyoto Protocol news,  CDM news,  Carbon Credits news,  

Japan, Indonesia Deal Helps Indonesia Cut GHG Emissions (Int'l)
Date: 2013-09-04
Japanese companies planning to help Indonesia reduce its greenhouse emissions are being encouraged through a recently signed agreement that will help Indonesia cash in more rapidly on Japanese companies' wanting to offset their own industrial carbon emissions by gaining credit for helping avoid emissions elsewhere in the world, and Indonesia in particular.

Under the current Kyoto greenhouse protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) , the UN must sign off on each Japanese company's participation, after a lengthy screening process.

As part of the JCM agreement, the Japanese government has conducted feasibility studies in generating carbon emissions reductions in Indonesia through renewable energy, forestry, energy conservation, agriculture, transportation, carbon storage and waste treatment. Indonesia has also set its own ambitious 2020 targets, of 26 percent emissions reduction on its own, and 41 percent reductions with international assistance through schemes such as that signed on Friday. (Source: Jakarta Globe, 2 Sept., 2013)

Tags UN CDM news,  Kyoto Protocol news,  Greenhouse Gas Emissions news,  

UNCCS, Latin American Dev. Bank Partner to Boost CDMs (Int'l.)
United Nations Climate Change Secretariat
Date: 2013-08-26
The United Nations Climate Change Secretariat (UNCCS) has signed an agreement with the Latin American Development Bank to increase participation in clean development projects in the region, it was today announced. The agreement will establish a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) regional collaboration centre (RCC) in Bogota, Colombia.

The CDM RCCs are part of an effort to bring the benefits of the Kyoto Protocol' emission-reduction projects in developing countries to earn certified emission reductions (CERs) which can then be traded, sold and used by industrialized countries to meet environmental targets. Each CER is equivalent to one ton of carbon dioxide.

This is the fourth regional collaboration centre established by the UNFCCC and a regional development bank. The first centre was established in 2012 in Lome, Togo, in collaboration with the Banque Ouest Africaine de Developpement and provides assistance in the development of CDM projects in Francophone Africa. The two other centres are in Kampala, Uganda, which supports the remaining countries in the Africa, and in Saint George's, Grenada, to assist CDM projects in the Caribbean. The office will be operational on 1 September and will provide support to all countries in Latin America. (Source: UN News Center, 23 Aug., 2013) Contact: unfccc.int/secretariat Latin American Development Bank, www.caf.com

Tags CDMs news,  United Nations Climate Change Secretariat news,  

Japaneses Utilities Missing CO2 Reduction Targets (Int'l.)
Carbon Emissions
Date: 2013-08-21
A Japanese industry report revealed on Monday that nine out of 10 utilities in the Land of the Rising Sun failed to meet their own 5-year CO2 emissions reduction targets that averaged 20-percent. The failure is widely attributed to the March, 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster which forced most of the utilities to revert to thermal power generation.

Tohoku Electric Power Co., Hokuriku Electric Power Co., Shikoku Electric Power Co., Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Tokyo Electric Power Co., Kansai Electric Power Co., Kyushu Electric Power Co., Chubu Electric Power Co., and Chugoku Electric Power Co. failed to hit their targets while Okinawa Electric Power Co., which neverhad a nuclear power plant, met its reduction goal. (Source: JDP. Kyodo News, 20 Aug., 2013)

Tags Carbon Emissions news,  Emissions Reduction Targets news,  Kyoto Protocol news,  Carbon Emissions news,  

Can Mandatory Worldwide Cap-and-Trade Mitigate Climate Change? (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Date: 2013-07-17
"The best way to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change is through the use of a European-style cap-and-trade scheme, according to a paper by business school scholars. The academics monitored the effectiveness of the European Climate Exchange (ECX) carbon trading platform and found it to be as efficient as Europe's two biggest exchanges, the London Stock Exchange and the Euronext Paris. Yet the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) cap-and-trade scheme, in which permits to emit carbon, about 16 billion tons in 2013-20 (half of the European Union's total carbon emissions) can be bought and sold, has been an expensive mess. The recession reduced industrial demand for permits so there is massive overcapacity in the carbon market and therefore low prices for permits. No emissions have really been 'saved', though they have been 'traded', and so the cost has been incurred but no value.

"The ECX was created by the EU-ETS in 2005 as a scheme to achieve its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce carbon emissions and has persisted while American efforts such as the Chicago Climate Exchange closed years ago. Despite its failings, writers in the International Journal of the Economics of Business say that the ECX is good enough to rationalize a mandatory emissions cap and trade scheme worldwide.

"Their evidence? The value of the trades on the ECX were higher after the market closed, which hints of growing sophistication within platforms. They say it means that trades were made with greater confidence based upon increasingly detailed information. The business academics also said there are also signs of maturity based on increased liquidity -- the immediate availability of a party to trade with -- and price efficiency, which means all available information is incorporated into prices so they are traded in a relatively transparent manner.

"The EU set limits and issued permits for how much carbon firms could emit into the atmosphere. If companies exceed their limit, they could incur regulatory penalties, which has not really happened due to the lower demand for permits but the EU-ETS says that by creating a market, it gave firms a financial incentive to reduce their carbon emissions.

"The scholars are not blind to the problems. While apparently confirming the ECX's effectiveness they state that it must change completely to survive Europe's economic downturn. The EU-ETS should be allowed to self-adjust emission caps in reaction to changes in the Eurozone's fortunes and industrial production. Currently the European Parliament must approve changes.

"Report co-author Dr. Gbenga Ibikunle, Lecturer in Finance and Climate Change at the University of Edinburgh Business School, said, 'While individual responsibility for combating climate change is important, much needs to be done to incentivize (high emitting) companies to cut back too. This study shows that free market mechanisms such as the EU-ETS can be effective in doing that. Several other schemes around the world are already learning from this and adopting it as a model." (Source: Scientific Blogging 2.0, July 15, 2013)

Tags Cap-and-Trade news,  Climate Change news,  Climate Change Mitigation news,  EU ETS news,  

US, China Agree on Emissions-Cutting Initiatives (Ind. Report)
China,U.S.,Kyoto Protocol
Date: 2013-07-15
Beginning in October, China and the US, neither of which have signed on to the renewed Kyoto Protocol, have agreed to work together on a series of climate change initiatives, including new joint efforts to tackle emissions from coal-fired power plants, manufacturing facilities, and large transport trucks.

Although not a binding treaty, the initiatives call for both countries to work together on the development of cleaner vehicles and tougher fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty vehicles, the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases in the US and responsible for more than half of transportation fuel consumed in China.

Large-scale integrated projects to capture carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, new schemes to promote building energy efficiency, improve emission data collection and management, and to develop smart grids will also be jointly developed. (Source: Various Sources, Bus. Green, 12 July, 2013)

Tags Kyoto Protocol news,  Climate Change news,  Carbon Emissions news,  Energy Efficiency news,  

Tata Power Registers India Wind Plant with UNFCCC (Int'l.)
Tata Power
Date: 2013-06-17
Indian industrial giant TATA reports that it has registered a wind project at Gadag, India, under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) CDM Program allowing the company to trade certified emission reductions (CERs) from the renewable energy project, according to a company statement. Commissioned in July 2009, the plant uses 63 turbines of 800 KW each for power generation and helps reduce 99,100 tpy of carbon dioxide equivalent by producing 107,064 mw equivalent of clean energy.

A Tata staement says the company plans to add 150-200 mw of wind and 50 mw of solar power capacity every year to reduce its carbon footprint. With four energy projects, including one (50.4 mw from wind) at Khandke in Maharashtra and two at Samana (50.4 mw from wind) and at Mithapur (25 mw from solar) in Gujarat, the company has a total of 397 mw of operating wind power generation capacity and 28 mw of solar power generation capacity, making it one of the largest renewable energy generators in the country. As one of the largest renewable energy players, the company is also setting the country's first 4000mw ultra mega power project at Mundra in Gujarat based on super-critical technology..

The CDM was set up under the Kyoto Protocol to achieve sustainable development and contribute to the cost effective mitigation of climate change. It allows countries with emission reduction commitments to meet part of their reduction abroad, where green house gas (GHG) abatement costs can be lower. The mechanism will also enable developing countries to attract investments in clean energy technology and assist them on a sustainable development path. (Source: TATA, SME Times, 12 June, 2013) Contact: Tata Power, +91 (2) 26 665-8733, www.tatapower.com

Tags Tata Power news,  Wind news,  UNFCCC news,  CERs news,  

U.S., China to End "Super GHG" HFC Production (Int'l)
U.S., China
Date: 2013-06-10
On Saturday, China and the U.S. agreed to scale back production of HFCs and HCFCs, the "super greenhouse gases" commonly used in refrigerators and air conditioners. In a joint bid to fight climate change, the two financial super-powers made the pledge after the first summit between Presidents Barack Obama and China's leader Xi Jinping. The countries agreed to work together through an international body to phase down the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

According to the White House, a global phase-down of HFCs could reduce carbon emissions by 90 gigatons by 2050 -- roughly equivalent to around two full years worth of the world's total GHG emissions. In April, China agreed to end HFC production by 2030 as part of a $385 million assistance package by wealthy countries under the Montreal Protocol, which was set up to fight the depletion of the ozone layer. China and other developing nations such as India had initially argued that the Montreal Protocol was not the best instrument to target HFCs and that the issue should instead by handled under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. (Source: AFP, Rawstory.com, June 8, 2013)

Tags GHG news,  Greenhouse Gases news,  HFC news,  hydrofluorocarbons news,  

Getting to 80 helps Toronto Suburbs Cut GHG Emissions (Ind. Report)
Project Neutral
Date: 2013-05-17
Toronto-based Project Neutral has launched the Getting to 80 program to entice Toronto suburb homeowners to reduce energy bills while fighting climate change. The Getting to 80 program is part of a community-wide climate protection initiative created by a collaboration between Project Neutral and Windfall Ecology Centre. The name, Getting to 80, is borrowed from the City of Toronto's Climate Change Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan to reduce GHG emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. The city reached its 2012 goal, which based on the Kyoto protocol, of a 15 percent reduction from 1990 GHG emission levels.

The neighbourhood project initially focuses on natural gas savings, but the long-term goal is to galvanize stakeholders around additional offerings for electrical savings, renewable energy and water conservation.

Getting to 80 provides financial incentives and offers an easy one-window enrollment in a comprehensive package that includes home assessments by Certified Energy Auditors, gas saving measures and access to reliable contractors. Getting to 80 eligible measures include insulation upgrades, air sealing, a high efficiency space heating system, high efficiency water heating and drain water heat recovery systems. (Source: Project Neutral, Inside Toronto, 16 May, 2013) Contact: Project Neutral, Karen Nasmith, Director, Project Neutral, www.projectneutral.org

Tags Energy Efficiency news,  Energy Management news,  

Kiwi Deforestation Soars on Low Carbon Prices (Int'l)
New Zealand, Deforestation
Date: 2013-04-15
A Canterbury University survey of New Zealand forest owners with holdings over 10,000 hectares has found that forest owners plan to deforest 39,000 hectare between now and 2020. They represent three-quarters of the plantation forests with trees older than 20 years, which are likely to be harvested within the next eight years. Assuming smaller forest owners only replant 80 percent of the forests they harvest in the same period, the total area deforested would be 55,000 hectares or 12 percent of the area of plantation forest maturing in that period.

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, bruce.manley@canterbury.ac.nz, www.canterbury.ac.nz

Tags Deforestation news,  Carbon Prices news,  Carbon news,  

Point Carbon Posts CARBON 2013, At a Tipping Point - Report Attached (Ind. Report)
Point Carbon
Date: 2013-03-27
In parallel with the exodus of market participants from the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism, a whopping 80 percent of project developers and investors surveyed for Point Carbon's newly released Carbon 2013 report expressed interest in exploring the voluntary carbon markets as an alternative avenue.

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,  

EPF Lauds CO2 Emissions from Agriculture, Forestry Rules (Int'l)
Carbon Emissions
Date: 2013-03-18
The European woodworking industries salute the work of the European Commission and the Parliament to approve the report1 on the accounting rules and national plans for emissions resulting from land use and land use change from agricultural and forest activities (LULUCE)

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,  

German Greenhouse Gas Emissions Spiked in 2012 (Int'l, Ind. Report)
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Date: 2013-02-27
The German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has admitted that the country's harmful gas emissions have been on the rise again, partly due, it says, to a harsh winter. But, the UBA added , long-term Kyoto Protocol reduction targets had still been met. According to the UBA, harmful gas emissions rose by 1.6 percent year-on-year in 2012. Carbon dioxide emissions climbed by 2 percent in 2012. year.

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,  

New Zealand's Carbon Cap-and-Trade Credential Questioned (Int'l)
New Zealand
Date: 2013-02-13
New Zealand forestry expert Professor Euan Mason of the University of Canterbury contends that the country's greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme (ETS) is "irrational" and damages the country's environmental credentials. According to Mason, New Zealand has allowed unrestricted imports of credits, including many from Eastern Europe, and has become "a dumping ground for worthless credits." And, Mason says, the country's agricultural sector was given "a free ride" despite contributing about half the total national emissions.

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,  

Researchers Find Figures Behind Kyoto Low (Ind. Report)
Carbon Emissions,Kyoto Protocol
Date: 2013-02-11
Recent research by Australian and international scientist is suggesting that greenhouse gas emissions in the 1990s could have been underestimated by billions of tonnes, throwing doubt on some of the math behind the Kyoto Protocol.

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,  

Cost Impact of Aussie Carbon Tax Boosted by $230Mn (Int'l)
Australia Carbon Tax,Doha Climate Change Conference
Date: 2013-02-08
A paper presented at the recent Doha Climate Change Conference by Australia's Institute of Public Affairs reports that Australia is cutting carbon emissions at more than twice the rate of the EU. These rapid cuts are boosting the cost impact of the Australian carbon tax by close to $230 million annually and destroying the value of the Government's household compensation program.

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,  

Georgia Hydro Power Plant Plans Carbon Credit Trades (Ind. Report)
EBRD,Hydro Power
Date: 2013-02-04
Georgia's largest power plant, Enguri Hydro Power Plant, will be able to sell carbon credits earned thanks to a European Bank for Reconstruction and Developement (EBRD)-financed energy efficiency project. The EBRD investment from 1998 in the total amount of $70 million was used to upgrade all five units and increase the plant’s operational capacity. The project has now been registered under the Kyoto Protocols' CDM and is estimated to generate over 5.8 million carbon credits over the ten-year crediting period. These credits can now be sold on global carbon markets to businesses and governments that are close to exceeding their greenhouse gas emission quotas.

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,  

Russian ERU Ban Vote set for January 23 (Int'l, Ind. Report)
EU Climate Change Committee
Date: 2013-01-16
On Jan. 23, the EU's Climate Change Committee will vote on the European Commission's proposal to restrict rules regarding the use of emission reduction units (ERUs) in Phase III (2013-2020) of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

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,  

Japan, Mongolia Sign Bilateral Carbon Offset Pact (Int'l)
Japan, Mongolia
Date: 2013-01-09
Japan has signed its first bilateral carbon offset mechanism on Tuesday with Mongolia. The agreement is intended to complement the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which last convened in Doha, Qatar, in December, and is the first such agreement outside the U.N. framework, according to the Japanese government. Japan's environment ministry said the country is close to signing similar agreements with Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam.

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,  

Time for China and US to take lead in Climate-Change Debate (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Date: 2013-01-02
"Progress at world climate-change talks remains glacial compared with the loss of Arctic sea ice, which scientists link to global warming. Negotiators at the UN climate talks in Doha reached an eleventh-hour deal to extend a watered-down Kyoto Protocol to combat greenhouse gas emissions after three big nations dropped out. At the same time, scientists at an American geophysical conference revealed that the Arctic sea-ice sheet is now about half what it was in 2000 after a record retreat this year

. "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,  

Russia says Nyet to Kyoto Protocol II (Int'l)
Kyoto Protocol
Date: 2013-01-02
Moscow says that it will not join the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol, which started on January 1st 2013. Russia decided to discontinue its participation in the protocol because the world's major producers of greenhouse gases -- the U.S., China and India -- are still refusing to commit themselves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Accordingly, Russian leaders say the Kyoto Protocol, which came into force seven years ago, had no impact on the rate of global warming and was not worth supporting. (Source: Voice of Russia, Dec. 31, 2012)

Tags Kyoto Protocol news,  Global Warming news,  Climate Change news,  Carbon Emissions news,  

Taiwan Pledges Carbon Emissions Reduction Mechanisms (Int'l)
Date: 2012-12-17
Focus Taiwan is reporting that the Taiwanese Environmental Protection Agency (T-EPA) will implement a mechanism to reduce carbon emissions, based on the conclusions reached in two recent international meetings in Doha, Qatar. The T-EPA said a new agreement on global climate change and on establishing a whole new mechanism by 2015 was adopted at the international conferences, called the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol and the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which were held in Doha, Qatar Nov. 26 to Dec. 8.

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,  

A Deal in Doha (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Date: 2012-12-10
"The climate talks (COP18) wrapped up today in Doha, Qatar, with package of decisions, including an agreement to move forward an international climate agreement by 2015. The parties resolved the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol by adopting amendments; they wrapped up and closed the long-term cooperative action (LCA) track, including rules around finance, accounting and review; and they agreed to move forward with the core elements of the Durban Agreement, including a work-plan for 2013 to begin negotiating the 2015 legally binding agreement.

"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,  

Doha Delegates Extend Kyoto Accord, but Little Else (Int'l)
Doha,Cope18,Kyoto Accord
Date: 2012-12-10
The Doha, Qatar UN climate conference of nearly 200 countries in attendance has adopted an extension of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which expires this year, through 2020. However, the second phase only covers about 15 per cent of global emissions after Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Russia opted out. The 1997 Kyoto pact aimed at controlling the greenhouse gas emissions of major industrial countries.

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 Focuses on Carbon Trading Schemes at COP 18 (Int’l)
Date: 2012-12-05
The Taiwanese delegation attending the UN Climate Summit COP18 meeting in Doha, Qatar report that tracking and identifying carbon trading schemes is at the top of their priority list. The delegation is also tracking the progress of the Kyoto Protocol, , the Green Climate Fund and the Cancun Agreement. On December 1, the delegation hosted a forum titled Comparative Studies of Climate Change Adaptation around in the Globe: from Least-Developed Countries to Africa and Small Islands.

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,  

Kiwis Dropout of Kyoto Phase II (Int'l, Ind. Report)
Kyoto Protocol
Date: 2012-12-03
At COP18 in Doha, Qatar, New Zealand has cited the growing rift between wealthy and growing world economies for its decision to drop out of the second phase of the 1997 Kyoto emissions pact for developed nations. The Kiwis claim that Kyoto is an outdated and insufficient response to global warming.

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,  

China calls on Japan to Honor Emission Cuts Commitment (Int'l)
Kyoto,DOHA Climate Talks
Date: 2012-11-30
At this weeks climate change talks in DOHA, senior Chinese climate change negotiator called for Japan's "continuous commitment to greenhouse gas emission reductions". Japan is obliged to maintain a high emission cut target even if it faces difficulty fulfilling its past pledge, Su Wei, deputy chief of China's delegation to U.N. climate talks in Doha, told reporters Wednesday.

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,  

Greenpeace Calls for Kyoto Extension, Greater Russian Participation (Int'l)
Greenpeace,Kyoto Protocol
Date: 2012-11-28
Greenpeace Russia, the Soviet branch of the international environmental organization has called for the extension of the Kyoto Protocol, which expires this year, from 2013 to 2017, and a new global climate treaty by 2015. The call coincided with the opening of the 18th UN Climate Conference in Doha, Qatar. In a statement that was issued on Monday, The organization also called for the cancellation of unused greenhouse emission quotas and drafting a new, more effective global climate accord by 2015. "Greenpeace is convinced that developed nations should help developing countries that will be the first hit by the effects of global climate change. Developed nations should fix financing for the Green Climate Fund set up to support the introduction of 'green' technologies in developing countries. In 2013, it should amount to at least $20 billion, and by 2020 - to $100 billion per year," the statement says. Member states should commit themselves to greenhouse gas cuts to the extent that would slash emissions by 80 percent on average towards 2050, compared with the 1990 level, with the peak falling on 2015.

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,  

Viet Nam Establishing Domestic Carbon Market (Int'l., Ind. Report)
Viet Nam
Date: 2012-11-26
Viet Nam has included a carbon trading plan as part of its commitment to fight climate change and developing a low-carbon economy for green and sustainable development.

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,  

Put Oil Subsidies into Green Infrastructure, says World Bank (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
World Bank
Date: 2012-11-21
The World Bank is calling for governments to channel the 1 trillion dollars they now pay for fossil fuel subsidies into boosting "green" infrastructure to cut down on carbon emissions. The initiative was one of several it promoted in releasing its latest report on global warming, Turn Down the Heat. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim warned that major coastal areas like Mozambique and Bangladesh are likely to face major disruptions over the coming century, if warming continues on its present course.

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,  

China cuts CO2 Emissions with CDM Projects (Int'l)
Date: 2012-11-21
China is able to avoid and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 730 million tons annually due to the running of over 4,500 clean development projects such as using hydropower and methane, a government report said today. China approved 4,540 clean development mechanism (CDM) projects between 2004 and August 2012, and estimated annual certified emissions reduction (CER) could reach 730 million tons of CO2 equivalent, said the report, China's Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change 2012. The projects mainly focused on new and renewable energy, energy conservation and energy efficiency and methane recycling. 2,364 of the projects have been registered with the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board. They account for 50.41 percent of the world's total registered programs. The estimated CER of registered projects reached 420 million tons of CO2 equivalent annually, accounting for 54.54 percent of the global total, the document said.

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,  

Is Now the Time for a Carbon Tax? (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)

Date: 2012-11-16
"With the 2012 election decided, there seems to be movement towards considering establishing a carbon tax to cut greenhouse gases and mitigate climate change. Despite the Kyoto Protocols of 1997, which the U.S. did not sign, and a slew of renewable energy projects in places such as Europe, there has been zero progress on reducing CO2. The goal back in the 1990s was to reduce CO2 to about five percent of what they were in 1990 by this year.

"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,  

Kiwis Reject Kyoto 2 Climate Treaty (Int'l, Reg & Leg)
Kyoto Protocol
Date: 2012-11-14
The New Zealand government has pledged not to sign on for a second stage of the Kyoto Protocol climate treaty, in spite of its neighbor Australia's commitment to embrace "Kyoto 2."

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,  

Asian Companies Expecting Profits from Climate-Change Regulations (Int'l., Ind. Report)
Carbon Disclosure Project
Date: 2012-11-14
The Carbon Disclosure Project's (CDP) latest report on Asia, excluding Japan, points to corporate enthusiasm for climate-change policies. Even so, in China, only one of the responding companys reported a fall in emissions intensity, two said they have set emission reduction targets targets, while over half said they expect to turn a profit from government policies to tackle climate change.

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

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