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For the EU, the Type of Target Really Matters

As the EU Commission gears up to release its 2030 Energy and Climate White Paper in Davos week, there is considerable discussion regarding the emissions reduction target that will be recommended. Historically the EU has been keen on multiple targets...

Posted January 21, 2014    

What to Make of 2013?

It’s difficult to sum up 2013 from a climate standpoint, other than to note that it was a year of contrast and just a little irony. Overall progress in actually dealing with the issue of global emissions made some minor gains, although there were a...

Posted January 8, 2014    

Emissions Reduction: The Rational Middle

My most recent post, “The other end of the spectrum”, which reported on a Tyndall Centre conference, is quite possibly my most read post ever and certainly the most commented on. The post was written following my attendance at the Radical Emissions...

Posted December 21, 2013    

The Other End of the Spectrum: Radical Emission Reductions

With Warsaw now a fading memory and the meager outcome still cause for concern that there really isn’t enough substance to build a robust global agreement upon, I signed up for The Radical Emission Reduction Conference at the Royal Society. This was...

Posted December 12, 2013    

What Happened to Carbon Markets in Warsaw?

While there was plenty of talk at COP 19 about financing, national ambition, increasing pre-2020 ambition and adaptation, another core subject that struggled for high-level attention (the other one being CCS) was the idea of carbon pricing,...

Posted December 5, 2013    

A Final Contribution From Warsaw

As most will have seen from various media reports, delegates to COP 19 in Warsaw continued negotiating the outcome until late Saturday night. The key sticking points were “loss and damage” and the shape of national actions that would ultimately form...

Posted November 29, 2013    

Selling CCS at a Climate Conference

As COP 19 rolls to a close in Warsaw, both delegates and observers that I have talked to are seeing little agreement, despite the sometimes upbeat assessment coming from the UNFCCC. It may well be late on Friday or even Saturday before something...

Posted November 25, 2013    

'Show Me the Money,' or CO2 Mitigation at COP 19?

After the first week of the Warsaw COP, an observer could be excused for wondering what exactly the thousands of delegates meeting here were actually discussing. The closest the assembled negotiators, NGOs, business people and UN staff came to...

Posted November 20, 2013    

What to Make of COP 19?

The flight from London to Warsaw this week gave me a chance to flick through the latest World Energy Outlook from the IEA (I couldn’t use the word “read” here as that would barely be possible on a flight to Melbourne, let alone Warsaw) and read a...

Posted November 18, 2013    

Is There Cause for Optimism on Emissions?

Perhaps the BBC and others are having a fit of pre-COP optimism, but two recent stories would lead the reader and/or listener to the view that the world is at last turning the corner on emissions.This started with BBC coverage of a report from...

Posted November 11, 2013    

Are We Heading for a Coal COP?

It is widely known that Poland gets much of its energy from coal (it is even a net exporter). Many countries do, so it is hardly alone in this regard. In my last post I illustrated the increasing global dependence on coal through a recent tender...

Posted November 4, 2013    

Climate Risk: Realities in the Energy System

There is an interesting article in The Economist which discusses the impact that renewable energy is having in Germany. As renewable energy use grows, there is the perverse effect that coal is staying put and natural gas is getting backed out. As a...

Posted October 22, 2013