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The Origins of Climate Change Science

We tend to think of climate change as a relatively modern issue, perhaps marked by the testimony before Congress of James Hansen in summer 1988.  The terms “climate change” and “global warming” hardly appear in literature before 1975 and didn’t...

Posted March 23, 2013    

The Case for EU Demonstration of Carbon Capture and Storage Technology

In recent months, particularly in the EU, the prospect of a major demonstration of CCS across various sectors and employing a variety of technologies has slipped badly. Perhaps the bottom was reached when in the EU not a single CCS project was...

Posted March 15, 2013    

"Fool's Gold" in the Climate Rush

Late last week saw the public release of the new Shell energy scenarios, under the heading “New Lens Scenarios”. This is always a much anticipated moment in Shell, a bit like the Olympics as it only happens every few years – the last ones were...

Posted March 7, 2013    

Mental Model for Managing CO2 Emissions

For regular readers, this may seem like a repeat of recent themes, but there is a point which will become clearer as the new Shell scenarios are released later this week.Over recent years, the focus for managing rising CO2 emissions has been a...

Posted February 26, 2013    

Open Letter to the EU Parliament Environment Committee

Dear ENVI Committee,Next week you have to make an important decision on the future of the EU ETS. The Commission has proposed that 900 million allowances due to be auctioned at the beginning of this phase of the ETS be held back and returned to the...

Posted February 15, 2013    

Lock-In Wedges to Address Climate Change

Nearly a decade ago then-CEO of BP, Lord John Browne, gave a landmark presentation on climate change mitigation in the City of London. He introduced to the broader interest group (the work had already circulated in the academic sector) the idea of...

Posted February 9, 2013    

Clean Energy in Europe Suffering from Falling CO2 Prices

The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) is facing tough times. Last week saw the price fall to below €3 after the European Parliaments’ Industry & Energy (ITRE) Committee voted against the Commission proposal to amend the ETS Directive to allow...

Posted February 1, 2013    

An Update on Climate Change Legislation

This week the organisation known as GLOBE (The Global Legislators’ Organisation supports national parliamentarians to develop and agree common legislative responses to the major challenges posed by sustainable development) met in London and launched...

Posted January 19, 2013    

Has Climate Change Stopped?

In a report released just before Christmas, the UK Met Office lowered its decadal forecast for the expected average global temperature. The press release noted that: Global average temperature is expected to remain between 0.28 °C and 0.59 °C (...

Posted January 14, 2013    

2012: A Year of Greater Concern, but Limited Action

In a year which saw extreme weather rise up the political agenda and the consequences of a changing climate starting to sink into our collective psyche, action to actually address the issue of rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere remained limited....

Posted January 8, 2013    

Electric cars becoming a reality?

Shortly before Christmas a colleague of mine photographed a busy electric charging point in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Hooked up to the charging point are a Chevy Volt (Opel Ampera in the EU) and a Fisker Karma. Many such charging poles have appeared...

Posted December 27, 2012    

A Major Setback for Carbon Capture & Storage

Perhaps the best thirty minutes I spent at COP18 in Doha was listening to a presentation by Myles Allan, Professor of Geosystem Science in the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford and Head of the Climate Dynamics Group in...

Posted December 19, 2012