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Can we restore the EU Emissions Trading Scheme's effectiveness?

A year ago as the EU ETS price showed clear signs of a second step change downwards (in 2008/9 from €25 to €15 then in 2011 from €15 to €7), the EU Commission was resolute in its view that the mechanism was working, that it was responding to changes...

Posted July 26, 2012    

The Limits of Energy Efficiency

With the recent passage of the Energy Efficiency Directive through the key EU parliamentary committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), it is clear that the idea of managing emissions, improving energy security and increasing the...

Posted July 13, 2012    

Extreme hot weather in the USA and climate change

The current spate of very hot weather across much of the USA (and not forgetting the balmy “winter” days in many states back in the early part of the year) raises the question of the role of climate change in relation to such extremes. Of course...

Posted July 5, 2012    

Is $23 per tonne the right price for Australia?

Next week the carbon pricing mechanism gets going in Australia, starting at a fixed price of AU$23 per tonne of CO2 in the first year, but later on shifting to a full cap-and-trade (probably around 2015). Early on the system will behave more like a...

Posted July 2, 2012    

Is $23 per tonne the right carbon price for Australia?

On July 1st the carbon pricing mechanism gets going in Australia, starting at a fixed price of AU$23 per tonne of CO2 in the first year, but later on shifting to a full cap-and-trade (probably around 2015). Early on the system will behave more...

Posted June 29, 2012    

Losing the lead? Europe’s flagging carbon market

Very recently I participated in the launch of a new report on the state of the EU Emissions Trading System. The event took place in the House of Commons and featured Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey. The report...

Posted June 25, 2012    

The plight of CCS in the EU

This week I attended the quarterly review meeting of the European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants (ZEP), a coalition of stakeholders united in their support for CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) as a key technology for...

Posted June 15, 2012    

The case for an auction reserve price

There has been considerable discussion over recent months as to what action needs to be taken both in the short and long term to ensure that the EU ETS continues to provide the necessary investment signal for major investments such as carbon capture...

Posted June 7, 2012    

A new market mechanism from the UNFCCC

While much of the focus in the recent UNFCCC meeting in Bonn was on the protracted discussion around agenda and chair for the ADP (Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action), some progress was made in other meeting rooms. On...

Posted May 31, 2012    

Are Canada's oil sands to blame for rising atmospheric CO2?

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, NASA climate scientist James Hansen again puts forward his very compelling argument for strong action on limiting global CO2 emissions. Some observers have challenged his thinking, but the warnings he has...

Posted May 22, 2012    

Broadening the EU ETS debate

The ongoing debate in Europe about the current state of the Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the low carbon price outlook is gaining momentum and importantly gaining advocates for action. In response, Commissioner Hedegaard announced a much...

Posted May 3, 2012    

The Latest Publication from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development: 'The Energy Mix'

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) held its annual company delegate conference in Switzerland this week.  For the WBCSD Energy and Climate team the event marked the launch of the latest WBCSD publication “...

Posted April 28, 2012