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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    

COP18 Climate Talks – The Definition of Insanity?

Albert Einstein once said that “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. So it was that I spent the last few days in Doha, perhaps anticipating that something might just be different...

Posted December 11, 2012    

Half Time at COP18 in Doha

After a week of talks in Doha at COP18, it is difficult to draw a clear conclusion about how the conference might conclude. Certainly there is discussion along the lines I discussed last week, but progress is slow and many of the historical...

Posted December 4, 2012    

What To Expect From COP 18 in Doha

This week sees the start of the 18th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, or COP18 for short, in Doha, Qatar. This should be a busy transitional COP, with much on the agenda to resolve and important steps forward being taken toward a long...

Posted November 27, 2012    

Could a Carbon Price Help Us Avoid 4°C Rise in Global Temperatures?

As if following on deliberately from the PWC report which I wrote about last week, come two new initiatives announced this Monday.The first is a report from the World Bank and is the flip side of the PWC finding that a 2°C goal is now...

Posted November 20, 2012    

A grim warning about the 2°C target – but then what?

Last week PWC released the 2012 version of its “Low carbon economy index”, the fourth edition of a publication that started just prior to the Copenhagen COP. The main message delivered by the publication is a grim one, although hardly surprising,...

Posted November 12, 2012    

Simplifying the Planetary Boundaries

I have just got back from the annual Council meeting for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) where it was good to hear the new President, Peter Bakker, talking about a much more focused and serious response from the...

Posted November 2, 2012    

Is technology push sufficient as a policy approach?

I came across an article from the Breakthrough Institute which argues for the benefits of government support for new energy technologies. The story is a few months old, but still highly relevant – in any case a related story is back on...

Posted October 19, 2012    

Time to think in 3D about Arctic Sea Ice

The recent rash of news alerts about the all-time-low, end of summer, Arctic sea ice extent has certainly given new food for thought about the state of the climate. Of course we shouldn’t be entirely surprised by this state of affairs as more rapid...

Posted October 4, 2012    

In order to control climate change, do we need to unlock CERs?

Two recent publications highlight the challenges ahead in the multilateral process that continues to seek an equitable global approach to the issue of growing CO2 emissions. But comparing and contrasting them illustrates the contradictions that...

Posted September 27, 2012    

Is the UN Clean Development Mechanism now increasing emissions?

Late last week Point Carbon reported that the Executive Board of the UNFCCC’s Clean Development Mechanism has (re)agreed to allow energy efficient coal fired power plants to be included under the mechanism. Point Carbon said:The governing...

Posted September 19, 2012    

A CCS project for Canada?

I don’t normally use my blog to write about Shell, but last week saw an announcement that is very relevant and worthy of some further elaboration. Shell Canada, as operator of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project joint venture (with Chevron and...

Posted September 11, 2012