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Emissions Policy: Ten Years of the EU ETS

This month the EU Emissions Trading System is ten years old – which in itself is quite an achievement as there were those at the start who said it wouldn’t last and any number of people over the years who have claimed that it doesn’t work, is broken...

Posted January 20, 2015    

Climate and Global Energy: The Answer Lies After 2050, Probably Not Before

The global energy system works on timescales of decades rather than years. When considering the changes required in managing the climate issue, the short-to-medium-term takes us to 2050 and the long term is 2100! As such, drawing long-term...

Posted January 15, 2015    

Carbon Pricing in 2014

While there was a great deal of focus throughout 2014 on the road to Paris and the UNFCCC process that is taking us all there, the real developments of the year were around carbon pricing. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing.From my own perspective,...

Posted January 8, 2015    

Yes, Virginia, There is CCS

In 1897, Dr. Philip O’Hanlon, a coroner’s assistant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, was asked by his then eight-year-old daughter, Virginia, whether Santa Claus really existed. O’Hanlon suggested she write to The Sun, a prominent New York City...

Posted December 26, 2014    

Finding the Way to Paris from Lima

With the choice of a high road and a low road from Lima to Paris, the Parties seem to have selected the dirt track off to the side, replete with rocks, obstacles, difficult terrain and an uncertain destination. However, the map they have crafted in...

Posted December 16, 2014    

COP 20: Reality and Distortions in Lima

Wandering the COP20 campus, listening to side events and hearing senior political, business and NGO representatives talk about the climate issue results in a mild reality distortion field impairing your judgement; you start to feel sure that we must...

Posted December 11, 2014    

Brazil is Back; But Are They a Decade Late?

COP20 in Lima ended its first full week on a mixed note, but with some positive signs for the ongoing process. The detailed discussions on the role of carbon markets under the SBSTA ended in disagreement and postponement which was disheartening, but...

Posted December 9, 2014    

Getting Going in Lima?

COP 20 is now underway in Lima and I have been on the newly created site for two days. Less than three months ago this was apparently an empty piece of land in a large Peruvian government complex, but now it is a bustling and well fitted out set of...

Posted December 5, 2014    

China and Coal: The Reality Distortion Field is as Strong as Ever

In a post earlier this year I compared the endless claims around renewable energy to the famous “reality distortion field” (RDF) that was first employed by the Talosians in the original series of Star Trek, but was later linked with the...

Posted December 4, 2014    

Contraction and Convergence in Practice?

The in-tandem announcement last week by the USA and China caught many by surprise, resulted in lots of applause and back slapping and then raised questions as to which country has the tougher or easier deal. A bit of simple analysis offered below...

Posted November 24, 2014    

Two Views on Mitigation Economics

The annual Forum held by the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change is always an interesting event, with excellent presentations and lively debate ensuing. The recent Forum held in Boston in early October was no exception...

Posted November 18, 2014    

Reflections on the IPCC Synthesis Report

The release of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report Synthesis document on Sunday was a useful reminder of the wealth of measurements, observations and science behind the reality of the anthropocene era and the impact it is having on global ecosystems....

Posted November 5, 2014