In this edition, coverage of the Warsaw talks reveals the ongoing rift between developed and developing nations. In the United States, Japan, and EU, new or better-linked market-based mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as cheaply as possible are in favor. But developing countries are quick to point out the vulnerabilities of demand/supply imbalances in existing markets. As Reuters reports, poorer nations say their richer counterparts support markets as a way of outsourcing carbon-cutting efforts abroad to ensure they don’t have to make any reductions at home. More than 9000 delegates from almost 200 countries are gathered in the Polish capital for the November 11-22 United Nations-sponsored meetings. They’re hoping to hammer out back-end details aimed at forging by 2015 a new treaty to take effect after 2020.
Quote of the Day:
“I’m the first one to admit that we’re in a valley of the CDM. But I don’t believe the EU is always going to be the only source of demand and my sense is that as we move into the 2015 agreement, it’s going to be evident that we need different types of supply into a market that is going to have to be much larger than the market we have right now. I think it definitely has a role in the 2015 agreement. How much of it is going to be transacted before the 2015 agreement goes into force really depends on what the demand is going to be. It’s much more of an issue of demand than it is of supply.”
–UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres in Ecosystem Marketplace’s “REDD, CDM Likely To Find A Place In New Climate Agreement: Figueres”
REDD, CDM Likely To Find A Place In New Climate Agreement: Figueres
Despite the challenges in the Clean Development Mechanism and Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), both mechanisms are likely to find a place in the international climate agreement expected to be reached in 2015, said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres.
Developing World Pushes for Rescue of U.N. Carbon Credit Fund
Inter Press Service/Reuters Point Carbon
Negotiators from Least Developed Countries are calling for the United Nations climate body to urgently establish a rescue fund to save Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism from collapse.
China Faults Japan, Europe on Pollution at UN Talks
China singled out Japan and the European Union for failing to take more dramatic action against carbon pollution, signaling a rift at United Nations talks for a global treaty limiting fossil fuel emissions.
Japan’s new CO2 goal dismays U.N. climate conference
China, the EU and environmentalists criticized Japan at U.N. climate talks on Friday for slashing its greenhouse gas emissions target after its nuclear power industry was shuttered by the Fukushima disaster.
**RKB — “Our energy mix, including the use of nuclear power, is currently being reviewed. In that context, we decided to set this target at this point,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said of the new goal. Hiroshi Minami, Japan’s chief negotiator at the U.N. talks, said the new goal “is based on zero nuclear power” in future. He said the original target was based on a nuclear share of more than 40 percent of electricity generation.
What happens in Warsaw, stays in Warsaw
International negotiations on how to set up new carbon markets to cut greenhouse gas levels broke down over the weekend in Warsaw, sources said, after developing nations refused to progress the issue before rich nations increase efforts to cut their own emissions.
Court upholds California’s cap-and-trade system
Some California polluters don’t think they should have to pay for the right to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, so they sued the state to try to block its year-old carbon-trading system.
EU aviation emissions proposals attacked from all sides
An amended Commission proposal to force airlines to pay a carbon charge on flights within the European Economic Area was slammed by both left- and right-wing MEPs in the Parliament’s transport committee yesterday (15 November).
EU can’t afford to step down as climate leader: Think tank
Europe’s abdication from climate leadership would stunt growth in the region and hand a huge economic advantage to China and the United States as they carve out their share of a multi-billion low-carbon market, a German think tank said today (14 November).
In win for Big Oil, U.S. proposes biofuel mandate cut
The Obama administration proposed on Friday slashing federal requirements for U.S. biofuel use in 2014, bowing to pressure from the petroleum industry and attempting to prevent a potential fuel crunch next year.
**RKB — Additional coverage of EPA ruling in Natural Gas/Alternative Fuels section
Climate Leadership Conference
Association of Climate Change Officers
February 24-26, 2014
San Diego, CA
Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2014
March 26-28, 2014
San Francisco, California
Carbon trading schemes debut in China
RSC.org Chemistry World
After years of cautious planning, pilot carbon exchanges are being set up across China. However, experts are warning that such trading schemes face a number of challenges in the world’s largest carbon dioxide emitter.
High-Five On Repealed Carbon Tax Draws Criticism For Canada CBC
Canada’s Harper government is facing criticism after congratulating the government of Australia for ending its carbon tax.
UN Emission Units Plunge in Biggest Weekly Drop Since January
United Nations Emission Reduction Units posted their biggest weekly decline since January after the European Commission said it would upgrade credits awaiting approval for use in its carbon market, boosting supply.
Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels
Renewable Fuels Quota to Be Cut in U.S. EPA Change
The Obama administration proposed a cut in the amount of renewable fuels that refiners must blend with gasoline next year, bowing to oil industry complaints that the targets contained in 2007 legislation were too high.
Hitting the Brake on Ethanol
The Wall Street Journal
The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed for the first time to ease an annual requirement for ethanol in gasoline, saying that levels mandated in a 2007 law are difficult, if not impossible, to meet.
Shale Revolution Spreads With Record Wells Outside U.S.: Energy
The hydraulic fracturing of shale in search of oil and gas has hardly started outside the U.S., but that’s changing.
Steag Starts Coal-Fired Power Plant in Germany
Steag GmbH started Germany’s first new power plant fueled by hard coal in eight years, allowing the generator and energy trader to take advantage of near record-low coal prices that have widened profit margins.
Fracking the Fear Trade in Oil and Gas
The Wall Street Journal
Fracking, the energy industry’s high-pressure method of extracting fuel from shale, has spawned fierce protests, movies and even earthquakes. But when it comes to the natural-gas market, fracking has injected something else: boredom.
China Prepares to Open Its First Deep-Water Gas Project
The Wall Street Journal
China is set to start the pumps at its first deep-water natural-gas project, an engineering feat using a Chinese-made platform designed to withstand typhoons and using hundreds of miles of undersea pipelines.
Ed Markey’s first Senate bill aims to ramp up renewables
Thirty states have renewable electricity standards requiring utilities to generate a percentage of their power from clean sources. But the U.S. as a whole does not.
Atlantis snaps up Scottish marine energy
The Australian-founded but now Singapore-based marine energy developer Atlantis Resources has bought out Scottish tidal developer Meygen, according to a report on reNews.
Stockholm Water Institute to Host Unesco Transboundary Center
The Stockholm International Water Institute agreed to host the first Unesco center with a focus on defusing transboundary water disputes that could potentially lead to war.
Water Storage key to climate change adaptation
Center for International Forestry Research
Communities across the globe can build resilience to climate change by re-inventing old water storage strategies and investing in new ones, according to a new book by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a member of the CGIAR global partnership, which unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future.
OECD: Effective carbon prices (November 4, 2013)
Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013 (Posted September 12, 2013)
The Future of China’s Power Sector (posted August 27, 2013)
Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Sub-national involvement in NAMA development (posted August 7, 2013)
Ecofys’ International Climate Policies Unit
U.S. Energy Sector Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and Extreme Weather (Posted July 14, 2013)
U.S. Dept. of Energy
Turn down the heat: climate extremes, regional impacts, and the case for resilience (Posted June 19, 2013)
Four energy policies can keep the 2 Degree C climate goal alive (Posted June 10, 2013)
Maneuvering the Mosaic: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013 (Posted June 10, 2013)