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VW CEO Calling for Carbon Price (Int'l. Report)
VW,Volkswagen
Date: 2019-11-06
In Wolfsburg, Germany, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has called for a price on carbon and committed to reducing VW's fleet carbon emissions by 30 pct by 2025, and to zero carbon by 2050. A price on carbon would have the effect of making lower-carbon transportation more economical, because it would finally put a price on the externalities caused by polluting fossil-powered transport, the VW CEO noted.

Diess replaced Matthias Muller as VW CEO in 2018 following Muller's involvement in the automaker's "dieselgate" emissions scandal that cost the company $3.4 billion in penalties. (Source: VW,PR, electerk, 5 Nov., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News VW,  Volkswagen,  Carbon Price,  Carbon Tax,  


Carbon Tracker Recommends Complete Coal Phase-Out by 2030 (Int'l.)
Carbon Tracker
Date: 2019-10-28
According to Apocoalypse Now, a new report from the European think-tank Carbon Tracker, 80 pct of Europe's often inefficient and polluting coal-fired power plants can't compete with renewable energy and are operating at a loss -- €6.6 billion ($7.3bn) this year alone even with substantial subsidies.

The report finds the combination of strict air pollution regulations, falling renewable prices and rising carbon prices is making coal energy more and more unpalatable. In 2017, 46 pct of EU coal capacity was running at a loss. But now, the fraction has increased to 79 pct.

Carbon Tracker -- which is funded by various European and US foundations -- argues that governments should loan money to fund the closure of coal-fired power plants, on the condition that utilities use those funds to build renewables and in turn repay the debt from future power sales. Based on its findings, the report recommends coal should be fully phased out by 2030. (Source: Carbon Tracker, Al Jazeera News, 23 Oct., 2019) Contact: Carbon Tracker, Matt Gray, Report Co-Author, Head of Power & Utilities at Carbon Tracker, www.carbontracker.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tracker,  Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  


Germany Plans Multi-Billion Euro Climate Deal (Int'l. Report)
Carbon Tax, German Carbon Tax
Date: 2019-09-23
In Berlin, German chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government has reportedly agreed on a carbon price -- tax to meet its targeted 55 pct cut in carbon emissions by 2030. The price -- tax -- for CO2 emissions in transport and buildings is expected to come into force in 2021 at an estimated cost of €54 billion ($60 billion) by 2023.

The German system will be based on a trade in emissions certificates under the EU's emissions trading scheme (EU ETS). Germany is on course to miss its 2020 target of reducing 1990 greenhouse gas emissions by 40 pct, according to the Times of Aman report. (Source: Times of Oman, 22 Sept., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Carbon Tax,  Climate Change,  German Carbon Tax,  


WPA Takes Canadian Clean Fuel Standard to Task (Ind Report)
Wood Pellet Association of Canada
Date: 2019-09-09
Since 2017, the government of Canada has been developing the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS), a low carbon fuel standard-type policy, to reduce the life-cycle carbon intensity of fuels and energy used in Canada. The CFS aims to achieve 30 million tonnes CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) of annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2030.

The Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) has been providing input to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) as it works to design and shape the CFS. And, upon review of ECCC's proposed regulatory approach, WPAC is seriously concerned that the government will not allow end-use fuel switching in the buildings/stationary fuel use sector.

WPAC believes it is unfair for ECCC to recognize fuel switching from gasoline to electricity or hydrogen in transportation, but not to recognize switching from heating oil to solid biofuels -- wood pellets or chips -- for Canada's second largest renewable energy product -- solid biomass heating. To that end, WPAC made the following representations to ECCC:

  • One of the three primary objectives of the CFS is low-cost compliance. By prohibiting recognition of fuel switching for stationary applications, ECCC will actually significantly increase the cost of CFS compliance, exclude the forest sector from participation in the short-term, and inhibit investment in the most proven commercial technology for displacement of heating oil -- wood pellet and chip boilers.

  • Canada consumes approximately three billion lpy of heating oil, the majority of which is consumed by Canadians in rural and Atlantic Canada. The latter accounts for 44 pct of heating oil consumption in the residential sector and 50 pct of heating oil consumption in the commercial/institutional sectors. Rural and Atlantic Canada also have among the lowest per capita income. ECCC's proposed regulatory approach will make CFS compliance for these low-income areas significantly more expensive than for those living in cities.

  • Under ECCC's proposed regulatory approach, the principal mechanism for ensuring compliance from heating oil primary suppliers will be to blend renewable diesel with heating oil. Since heating oil has low carbon intensity (CI) relative to other liquid fuels and much of the crude used to produce heating oil is sourced from outside of Canada, there is less opportunity for upstream reductions than with other liquid fuels. The 2030 target of 74 g CO2e/MJ is less than heating oil combustion emissions, meaning upstream efficiency improvements will be insufficient to meet the requirements. The only heating oil-miscible fuel that can also be stored outside in winter, as is often the case with heating oil, is renewable diesel.

  • Renewable diesel has a useful heat fuel cost of $65-82 per gigajoule (GJ) ($234-295 per MWh. In contrast, wood pellets, at $300-350 per tonne for residential sales, have a useful heat fuel cost of $20-24 per GJ. Wood pellets also have half the of default renewable diesel (29 g CO2e/MJ). Wood chips are half the carbon intensity of wood pellets which means, on an implied carbon price basis and assuming wholesale $0.75 per litre for heating oil, blending renewable diesel with heating oil has a fuel cost of $630/ per tonne CO2e to 884 per tonne CO2e. Switching from heating oil to wood pellets saves money on a fuel basis, in addition to avoiding taxes on heating oil. In this case, there is little reason to implement a complex policy such as the CFS.

  • Despite the billions of dollars invested in lignocellulosic liquid transportation biofuels, all technologies are still pre-commercial -- especially forest feedstock-based liquid transportation biofuels due to the recalcitrant structure of wood fibre. Co-processing of pyrolysis oil or biocrude in existing oil refineries at a meaningful volume will not occur before 2030. The forest sector represents over 75 pct of annually-available biomass resources in Canada and its exclusion from participation in the liquids class will dramatically increase the cost of fuel, especially in rural communities where wood chips and bioheat are a cost efficient and convenient source of energy. (Source: WPAC, Canadian Biomass, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 26 Aug., 2019) Contact: Wood Pellet Association of Canada, Gordon Murra, Exec. Dir., ; Environment and Climate Change Canada, www.canada.ca › environment-climate-change

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Environment and Climate Change Canada,  Wood Pellet Association of Canada,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet ,  


  • Ontario Files Top Court Challenge to Fed. Carbon Tax (Ind Report)
    Ontario Carbon Tax
    Date: 2019-08-30
    Reporting from Queens Park, Ontario Premier Doug Ford's (C) government reports it has filed a challenge with the country's top court against the Canadian Federal government's carbon tax.

    The province, Canada's most populous, argues that Ontario's Court of Appeal was wrong to find the carbon price was "constitutional and within the federal government's right to impose." Federal lawyers had argued that the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act -- under which the carbon tax is imposed -- was a legitimate response to potentially catastrophic climate change. (Source: Various Media, Canadian Press, 28 Aug., 2019) Contact: Office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, www.ontario.ca/page/premier

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ontario Carbon Tax,  Canada Carbon Tax,  Doug Ford,  


    New Credit Card Limits Climate Impact (Ind. Report)
    UNFCCC
    Date: 2019-06-03
    Swedish financial company Doconnomy is touting a new credit card that allows consumers to track and offset the emissions related their purchases.

    The card uses the Aland Index to quantify consumers' carbon footprint and compute offset costs using the World Bank's carbon price. Consumers can use the data supplied to either reduce their carbon footprint through behavior change, or to buy offset credits from UN-certified projects that reduce, avoid or remove GHG emissions.

    Users can also directly compensate for their GHG emissions, through projects meeting the criteria of UN-certified green projects. To identify the carbon dioxide (CO2) impact of each transaction, the Do card uses the Aland Index, developed in 2017 by Bank of Aland in Finland.

    Partnering with the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the initiative encourages users to compensate their carbon footprints in UN-certified projects that reduce, avoid or remove GHG emissions. The projects are implemented in developing countries and are rewarded with Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) as well as Gold Standard. Ranging from cleaner-burning cook stoves to wind-generated electricity and clean waste disposal, all projects contribute to global emissions reductionsA savings product by the company offers an interest rate that includes investment in climate-friendly projects. (Source: UNFCCC Press Release, 30 April, 2019) Contact: UNFCCC, www.unfccc.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  UFCCC,  


    CDN Carbon Tax Funds Energy Efficiency Rebates (Ind. Report)
    Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2019-06-03
    In Ottawa, Canadian Environment Minister, Hon. Catherine McKenna is reporting the launch of launching a direct rebate program for small and medium-sized businesses to get back up to half the cost of buying more energy-efficient equipment and appliances.

    It's expected the rebates will be worth $44 million this year and the maximum rebate for any individual business will be $20,000.

    A separate program will allow businesses to apply to get rebates for energy efficiency retrofits. That program, which will be about $106 million this year, will be for projects that cost up to $1 million. The funds come from the revenues Canada is collecting from the $20-a-tonne carbon price imposed April 1, 2019. (Source:Canadian Environment Minister, Hon. Catherine McKenna, Canada Press, 30 May, 2019) Contact: Canada Ministry of the Environment, Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Catherine McKenna,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Rebates,  


    Cdn. Energy Efficiency Rebates Funded by Carbon Tax (Ind. Report)
    Energy Efficiency, Carbon Tax
    Date: 2019-05-31
    Following up on our 6 March coverage, Canadian Environment Minister, Hon. Catherine McKenna is reporting the launch of a direct rebate program for small and medium-sized businesses. The rebates would cover approximately 50 pct of the purchase price energy-efficient equipment and appliances.

    A separate program will allow businesses to apply for rebates for energy efficiency retrofits. That program, which will be about $106 million this year, will be for projects that cost up to $1 million. It's expected the rebates will be worth $44 million this year and the maximum rebate for any individual business will be $20,000.

    The funds come from the revenues Canada is collecting from the $20 per-tonne carbon price imposed April 1, 2019. (Source: Canadian Environment Minister, Hon. Catherine McKenna, Canada Press, 30 May, 2019) Contact: The Hon. Catherine McKenna, Canada Minister of Environment and Climate Change, www.facebook.com/McKenna.Ottawa

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency Rebate,  Energy Efficiency,  Catherine McKenna,  


    Spark Change, BJSS Partner on Global Carbon Price (Ind Report)
    Carbon Emissions, Spark Change
    Date: 2019-05-08
    In London, Spark Change, a Seattle-London based FinTech company for the creation of green financial products, and UK-based business consultancy BJSS are reporting completion of the first phase of their partnership to deliver a unique combination of Commodity and Trading Risk Management (CTRM) and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) solutions to create the world's first global carbon price.

    Climate Change has been widely recognized as one of the greatest challenges for and threats to society. However, placing a cost on emitting CO2 has been limited to regional markets that are not interconnected, with the price paid by emitters being insufficient to incentivize investment in cleaner technologies.

    Spark Change has created a transformational financial instrument, Spark, that integrates regional carbon markets into a single product, simultaneously allowing investors to gain exposure to a global carbon price and forcing emitters to invest in cleaner technologies and accelerate the reduction in emissions.

    Spark Change's Cloud-based CTRM platform gathers live pricing information via regional integrations with exchanges across Europe, North America and soon China. Smart contracts are used to calculate a global carbon price using the weighted emissions per GDP of each of these regions, and the proceeds from every investment in Spark used to automatically execute the purchase of emission allowances from across the regional markets. The distributed ledger allows reconciliation of the number of Spark held by investors with the number of emissions allowances being held in reserve, creating a one-to-one asset backed financial instrument. (Source: Spark Change; PR, May, 2019) Contact: Spark Change, Joff Hamilton-Dick, CEO, www.sparkchange.io; BJSS, www.bjss.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Energy Efficiency Rebates, Incentives Offered for Canadian Small Businesses (Ind. Report)
    Canadian Environment Minister, Hon. Catherine McKenna
    Date: 2019-03-06
    In Ottawa, Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is reporting the Liberal federal government of Prime Minster Justin Trudeau plans to ease the recently mandated carbon price burden on small business with incentives and rebate payments to cover some of the cost of making energy efficient upgrades.

    The Minister noted that the government expects to provide at least $1.46 billion over five years to small and medium-sized businesses, including $155 million in the fiscal year starting April 1. Hospitals, municipalities and other community organizations will share at least $727 million over five years, starting with $73 million in 2019-2020 fiscal years.(Source: City News, Various Media, Canadian Press, Mar., 2019) Contact: Office of Canadian Environment Minister, Hon. Catherine McKenna, www.canada.ca/en/government/ministers/catherine-mckenna.htm

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Rebate,  Canada Carbon Tax,  


    Canadian PM Imposing Carbon Tax Plan, Despite Four-Province Opposition (Reg. & Leg. Report)
    Canada Carbon Tax
    Date: 2018-10-31
    In Ottawa, the Canadian Liberal Government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that it will impose a carbon price in Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan in 2019. Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and the Yukon have either developed their own compliant pricing systems or chosen to adopt the federal option and thus avoided Trudeau's tax plan.

    The provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan have however resisted the federal Government's proposals and challenged their constitutionality

    . The federal carbon price will apply at a rate of $20 ($15.28 US) per tonne of CO2 equivalent in 2019, rising by $10 per year to a high of $50 per tonne in 2022. The federal carbon pricing system will come into force on January 1, 2019. To ease to imagined pain, the Government has committed to return direct proceeds from the federal pricing system to the province or territory of origin and to help SMEs deal with the additional costs associated with carbon pricing in early 2019. (Source: Gov. of Canada, Various Media, Tax News, 29 Oct., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Carbon Tax,  Justin Trudeau,  


    Incinerators Spewed 11Mn tonnes of CO2 in 2017, says UKWIN (Int'l)
    UK Without Incineration Network
    Date: 2018-10-29
    Evaluation of the Climate Change Impacts of Waste Incineration in the United Kingdom, a new report by the UK Without Incineration Network (UKWIN) claims approximately 11,000,000 tonnes of CO2 was emitted from the burning of fossil-based materials such plastics in the UK's 42 waste incinerators in 2017.

    The report estimates the incineration's "unpaid cost to society" was approximately £325 million in non-traded carbon price.

    The report notes that the incineration of plastics could contribute as much as £25 billion of harm to the UK in terms of CO2 emissions. Each tonne of plastic incinerated reportedly releases around 1.43 tonnes of CO2. A typical waste incinerator built in 2020 would release 2.8 million tonnes of fossil CO2 over its 30-year lifetime, the report finds.

    With electric power generation taken into account, the report states that incinerators are responsible for releasing around 1.6 million tonnes more CO2 than sending the same waste to landfill. In terms of energy generation, the report finds that the carbon intensity of energy produced through waste incineration is more than 23 times greater than that for renewable energy. (Source: UKWIN, Resource, 26 Oct., 2018) Contact: UKWIN, Josh Dowen, +44 0 1623 640134, shlomo.dowen@gmail.com, www.ukwin.org.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  


    UK Carbon Tax Cut Could Boost Coal-Fired Power Emissions, says Report (Int'l. Report)
    Aurora Energy Research
    Date: 2018-10-24
    In the UK, Oxford-headquartered Aurora Energy Research reports a cut in the UK's Carbon Price Support tax could trigger a resurgence in coal-fired power generation and higher CO2 emissions into the 2020s. The Aurora findings are ahead of the UK Autumn Budget October 29 and energy industry speculation that the government might respond to rising CO2 prices in the EU Emissions Trading System by reducing the UK's top-up tax paid by domestic power generators.

    According to the Aurora report, the difference between maintaining and cutting the tax could equate to 12 TWh of production a year for four years after coal plants would otherwise have closed. If the government were to reduce the CPS to £7/tonne CO2 from the current £18/tonne CO2, coal plants would stay on the system until 2025, generating an average 12 TWh/year in the period 2021-25.

    The report notes that if the tax was maintained at £18/tonne CO2, this would result in coal coming off the system as early as 2021/2022. Cutting the CPS to £7/tonne CO2 would increase CO2 emissions by 29 million tonnes during the fourth carbon budget period (2023-2027) compared to maintaining the status quo.

    In 2017 the UK Treasury recouped £1 billion in tax receipts from the mechanism which was capped at £18/tonne CO2 from 2016 to 2020. The freeze was extended to 2021 in the 2016 budget. (Source: Aurora Energy Research, S&P, Global, Oct., 2018) Contact: Aurora Energy Research, +44 0 1865 952 700, contact@auroraer.com, www.auroraer.com


    BHP Billiton Calls for a Price on Carbon (Int'l)
    BHP
    Date: 2018-10-22
    In the Land Down Under, mining juggernaut BHP Billiton Head of Sustainability & Climate Change, Dr. Fiona Wild, says Australia lacks "long term and effective climate policy" and wants a price on carbon to be part of the mix.

    "We've always been really clear that we support a carbon price -- obviously there's different ways a carbon price can be designed but from our perspective a carbon price is a really important part of a long term and effective response to climate change. I think in the Australian context what we'd really like to see is a really well integrated climate and energy policy which looks at affordability, reliability and emissions reductions, and that's what we're aiming for. At the moment we don't have a long term and effective climate and energy policy," Dr Wild says.

    Dr. Wilds added, "We accept the IPCC's assessment of climate change science that warming of the climate is unequivocal, the human influence is clear and physical impacts are unavoidable. We believe that the world must pursue the twin objectives of limiting climate change in line with current international agreements while providing access to affordable energy."

    Dr Wild also noted that "under all current plausible scenarios, fossil fuels will continue to be a significant part of the energy mix for decades." (Source: BHP, AFR, Financial Review, 22 Oct., 2018) Contact: BHP Billiton, Dr. Fiona Wild, VP Sustainability and Climate Change, +61 3 9609 3333, www.bhpbilliton.com, www.bhp.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Fiona Wild,  BHP,  Carbon Tax,  CO2 Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    Neste, Air BP Seal Green Jet Fuel Cooperation Deal (Int'l)
    Neste,Air BP
    Date: 2018-10-12
    Biofuels specialist Neste and aviation fuel supplier Air BP report they are partnering to scale up the fledgling supply chain for sustainable jet fuels made from waste-based feedstocks and will work together to introduce a co-branded sustainable aviation fuel to market at airports through Air BP's global network.

    Neste's MY Renewable Jet Fuel has been used in thousands of commercial flights. Similarly, Air BP has supplied its BP Biojet product at 10 airports across the Nordic countries since 2014.

    The aviation industry is facing mounting pressure to curb emissions ahead of the introduction of the UN-backed CORSIA offsetting scheme, which is set to impose a carbon price on a growing number of airlines with a view to ensuring the sector delivers on its goals of securing 'carbon neutral growth' from 2020 and cutting net aviation emissions in half by 2050. (Source: Neste, BusinessGreen, Others, 11 Oct., 2018) Contact: Neste, Kaisa Hietala, Executive VP, Renewable Products, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com; BP Air, www.bp.com/en/global/bp-air.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Air BP,  Aviation Biofuel,  Jet Biofuel,  


    OECD says Carbon Prices Too Low to Combat Climate Change (Int'l)
    Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
    Date: 2018-09-19
    According to the London, UK-headquartered Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), carbon prices in major advanced economies are too low to cut greenhouse gas emissions and counter the worst effects of climate change.

    The pricing gap had narrowed, from 79.5 pct in 2015, but "Carbon prices need to increase considerably more quickly than in recent years in order to ensure a cost-effective low-carbon transition," the OECD says according to Reuters coverage. (Source: OECD, Reuters, 13 Sept., 2018) Contact: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, www.oecd.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development ,  


    EU ETS Carbon Prices on the Rise, says Report (Ind. Report)
    Carbon Tracker
    Date: 2018-08-22
    According to a just released Carbon Tracker Initiative report, European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) carbon prices are on course to hit €25 by the year end -- about €7 higher than the current price on the EU carbon market. The report notes that EU carbon prices could average €35-40 per tonne over 2019-2023, accelerating the switch from coal to gas and questioning the maintenance of outdated coal and lignite power plants beyond 2021.

    The Carbon Tracker Initiative is a team of financial specialists making climate risk real in today's capital markets. The EU ETS is the 28-member trading bloc's flagship emissions reduction tool. According to Carbon Tracker the EU ETS has been the hottest commodity market in the world over the last 16 months, with the price of European carbon allowances (EUAs) up 310 pct since May 2017, 120 pct since the start of the year. Carbon Tracker expects that, as a reaction, carbon prices are likely to rise to levels that trigger fuel-switching from coal to gas in Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, following in the footsteps of the UK. (Source: Carbon Tracker, EURACTIV, 20 Ag., 2018)Contact: Carbon Tracker, www.carbontracker.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Carbon Tracker,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Credit,  


    EU Carbon Hits 7 Year €18 High (Int'l Report)
    EAU
    Date: 2018-08-15
    In London, Montel is reporting EU carbon permits (EAUs) traded at €18/t on Monday for the first time since November 2011, as reduced supply during the month of August continued to support the market. The benchmark Dec 18 futures contract traded last up 0.6 pct at €18/t on Ice Futures, trebling over the past 12 months, thanks largely to ETS reforms that will start slashing an oversupply of permits from January.

    Benchmark carbon prices had been trading well under €10/t for years due to an oversupply of allowances primarily caused mainly by the 2007-2008 financial crisis. (Source: Various Media, Montel, 13 Aug., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EAU,  Carbon Market,  Carbon Permits,  


    Ontario Premier's New Emissions Targets Expected in a "Very Timely Basis and People Don't Have to Worry about That." (Notable Quote)
    Ontario Carbon Tax
    Date: 2018-08-08
    At Queens Park in Toronto, the freshman government of Conservative populist Premier Doug Ford has tabled legislation -- Bill 4 -- to kill the province's cap-and-trade program and repeal the previous Liberal government's climate change plan. The bill gives the new Ford administration sweeping power to set its own targets and create its own climate plan without debate in the legislature nor to be enshrined in law.

    The Ford administration's Cap-and-Trade Cancellation Act -- Bill 4 -- was introduced in late July and made good on one of the new Premier Doug Ford's key campaign promises to end the province's carbon price. Another of the premier's campaign promises was "$1 per can beer", which he has reportedly made good on in an uncanny imitation of the equally inexperienced U.S. freshman president "the Donald" Trump.

    Bill 4 requires Environment Minister Hon. Rod Phillips to to set emissions targets without specifying what they should be based on. The bill also calls for Phillips to come up with a climate change plan but doesn't set a deadline for the plan. The Minister is also required to prepare progress reports on the climate change plan on a "regular basis", again without specificity.

    It is unclear as to whether the targets will be in line with the internationally agreed Paris Climate Accord targets set in Paris or if and when further details might be revealed.

    But not to worry. Again aping Trump, Phillips said the government's climate change plan will come in a "very timely basis and people don't have to worry about that."

    "What, Me Worry?" -- Alfred E. Newman of MAD Magazine fame. (Source: Various Media, iPolitics, 7 Aug., 2018) Contact: Environment Minister Hon. Rod Phillips, www.ola.org/en/members/all/rod-phillips

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ontario Carbon Tax,  Ontario Climate Change,  Doug Ford,  


    Trump Finds a Kindred Spirit in Former Aussie PM Tony Abbott (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Tony Abbott,Trump,Climate Change
    Date: 2018-07-03
    In the Land Down Under, former Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the prime minister who signed Australia on to the Paris Climate Agreement, now says Australia should pull out of the treaty to end "the emissions obsession that's at the heart of our power crisis."

    In a recent speech to a group of "climate skeptics", Abbott, who is perhaps best remembered for his comment "climate change is a load of CRAP", now says he wouldn't have signed up to the Paris treaty had he known the US would withdraw from it.

    In his speech, Abbott noted: "I didn't anticipate how agreeing to emissions that were 26 pct lower in 2030 than in 2005 would subsequently become a linear progression of roughly equal cuts every year over the next decade." "As long as we remain in the Paris agreement -- which is about reducing emissions, not building prosperity -- all policy touching on emissions will be about their reduction, not our well-being. It's the emissions obsession that's at the heart of our power crisis and it's this that has to end for our problems to ease."

    Other oft repeated Abbott comments include:

    "There are respectable arguments for an ETS but the one Labor (the then governing party) has in mind could easily be expensive and futile. I am wary of a system which creates new vested interests - which an ETS will do. I suspect that a straight carbon tax or charge could be more transparent and easier to change if conditions change or our understanding of the science changes." -- Tony Abbott, ,July 10, 2009

    "I am confident, based on the science we have, that mankind does make a difference to climate, almost certainly the impact of humans on the planet extends to climate." -- Tony Abbott, May 27, 2010 "We do not believe in artificially imposing a carbon price on consumers. There will be no carbon price on consumers under a (my) Coalition government." Tony Abbott, July 19, 2010.

    "Now, we do have policy out there. We've had it out there since February. It basically goes -- it involves going to the market and buying abatements through soil carbon, through tree planting, through businesses that are prepared to change their processes to less emitting ones. It will reduce our emissions by five percent by 2020, so we will achieve our targets. Now, that's our commitment. It's doable. It's deliverable." -- Tony Abbott,16 August, 2010

    "Yeah, look, I never said it (climate change) was a myth. I once used some colourful language describing the so-called settled science of climate change but look, climate change is real, humanity does make a contribution to it and we've got to take effective action against it. I mean, that's my position and that's always been my position but I've never been in favour of a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme." -- Tony Abbott, July, 2011

    (Source: Various Media, Guardian, 3 July, 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  Trump,  Climate Change,  Tony Abbott,  


    Aussie Study Values Inland Wetlands Carbon Storage Stocks (Int'l)
    Deakin University
    Date: 2018-06-27
    In the Land Down Under, researchers from the Deakin School of Life and Environmental Sciences' Blue Carbon Lab are reporting that Victoria state's inland wetlands lock away the annual emissions of 185,000 people. Victoria has about 530,000 hectares of inland wetlands, which include marshes, peatlands, pools and lakes, making up about 2.33 pct of the state's land area. The figure is part the state's first tally of its valuable environmental resources which came to three million tpy of CO2.

    In total, the researchers estimated Victoria's inland wetlands had a soil carbon stock of 68 million tons, worth about $6 billion under Australia's most recent carbon price.

    According to lead researcher Dr Paul Carnell, "While a lot more is known about how trees suck up and store carbon, freshwater wetlands can actually sequester 20 to 40 times more carbon than forests on dry land."

    The study was funded by the Victoria Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The study, published in the journal Global Change Biology. (Source: Deakin University, PR, 26 June 2018) Contact: Deakin University, Dr Paul Carnell, Lead Researcher, +61 3 924 43902, paul.carnell@deakin.edu.au, www.deakin.edu.au: Blue Carbon, http://bluecarbonlab.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Storage,  Blue Carbon,  Carbon Emissions,  


    World Bank State and Trends of Carbon Pricing 2018 - World Bank Report Attached (Ind. Report)
    World Bank
    Date: 2018-06-06
    "Since it was first launched more than a decade ago, the annual State and Trends report has established itself as perhaps the most important reference document -- first on carbon markets and, later, on carbon pricing more broadly -- by providing up-to-date information on developments in initiatives and policies around the world. Previous editions also included analytical discussions on issues that related to these developments.

    "The 2018 edition of the report focuses exclusively on data and information on the evolving initiatives that put a price on carbon, in terms of their most current status and emerging trends. It includes an expanded discussion on what the trends are telling us about the underlying motivations of and the direction the world is moving in when it comes to carbon pricing.

    "The growing momentum for carbon pricing and the increasing prevalence of the topic in climate change discussions in recent years take us in a new direction for the report. More national and sub-national jurisdictions and private sector entities are adopting carbon pricing.

    "This report also includes a reflection on the engagement of non-state actors on climate action and carbon pricing -- a development that characterizes the implementation phase the world has embarked on since the adoption of the Paris Agreement. The inclusion of internal carbon prices in business operations, and how this is incentivizing action on climate change, has raised the need to expand the focus to include an important discussion on how carbon pricing is considered in other economies and the indirect measures taken to provide a carbon price signal."

    Download the World Bank Group State and Trends of Carbon Pricing 2018 report at www.openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/29687.

    Download an online dashboard to complement the publication HERE. (Source: World Bank Group, May, 2018)Contact: World Bank Group, www.worldbank.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News World Bank,  Carbon Price,  


    Global CO2 Emissions Pricing Schemes Worth $82Bn, says World Bank Report (Int'l. Report)
    World Bank
    Date: 2018-05-23
    In a just released report, the World Bank pegs the value of global schemes to put a price on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and designed to reduce greenhouse gases blamed for global warming at $82 billion, as compared to $52 billion in 2017. The report estimates that 25 emission trading schemes and 26 carbon taxes initiatives worldwide cover 11 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, or 20 pct of global greenhouse gas emissions.

    "Looking ahead, this trend is set to continue, as indicated by some of the jurisdictions which are planning carbon price increases," the World Bank report says. "This includes emerging carbon pricing initiatives, which are launching at relatively low price levels, with the intention of scaling up over time," the report added.

    Governments raised around $33 billion in carbon pricing revenues in 2017, compared with $22 billion the previous year, the report said. (Source: World Bank, Economic Times India, 22 May, 2018) Contact: World Bank, John Roome, (202) 473-3373, http://www.worldbank.org/en/about/people/j/john-roome

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Climate Change,  CO2,  GHG,  World Bank,  


    EU Members Seeking Climate Change Target Increases (Int'l)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2018-04-30
    The Irish Times is reporting Ministers in charge of climate action in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Portugal and Luxembourg have called for a more ambitious strategy to counter global warming in response to "alarming scientific analysis" suggesting current measures will not deliver as hoped.

    According to Brune Poirson, secretary of state to the French minister for ecological transition, said EU countries "must take more action and we must take it faster."

    "Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, member states had agreed to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. However, with the EU's current climate policy these goals would not be achieved," the ministers said in a joint statement. The group added member states "are still divided on climate policy -- especially on a carbon price floor setting a higher price on carbon, which would penalize activities contributing to global warming -- an overhaul of emissions trading schemes for heavy emitters of CO2, and how to exit from the use of coal and nuclear power. The carbon price does not send a strong enough signal, the price isn't high enough, the group statement added. (Source: Irish Times, Various Other, 28 April, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  Climate Change,  Carbon Tax,  


    Nat Gas, Carbon Tax Credited with Cutting UK CO2 Emissions (Int'l)
    University of Sheffield
    Date: 2018-03-28
    A new study from the UK's University of Sheffield finds Britain's emissions dropped by 6 pct in 2016 due largely to a meaningful carbon tax and switching from coal to natural gas for power production. The report notes that Britain is on track to become the first major economy to transition away from coal after centuries of production and consumption.

    The study highlights the scale and speed of emissions reduction in Britain as a result of fuel switching from coal to natural gas through effective carbon pricing. The switch analyzed in the study was made possible by incentivizing gas over coal through effective carbon pricing. A carbon price of £18 per tonne in 2016 was needed to incentivize the fuel switch.

    The research found that if spare capacity already existed, then switching from coal to gas will be a quick win method of reducing emissions as it does not require several years to build the generation to impact reductions in emissions, unlike other options such as renewable and nuclear energy. The necessity for spare capacity is one of the factors that the potential for other countries adopting this tactic was contingent upon. Other factors for success outside Britain include the security of supply chains, price, and also political interest.

    The study also notes that Russia and the US could potentially convert 40-50 pct of their coal generation to natural gas but China and India could only displace 6-12 pct due to the relative size of their natural gas generation. A high level assessment of the scale of decarbonisation if other countries were able to switch with existing generation assets was found to be in the region of one Gigatonne of CO2 per annum, which is equal to 3 pct of global emissions.

    A major benefit of switching from coal to gas is that the electrical system has decarbonised faster in the short term. Although, one risk of switching fuels is that natural gas may stay on the system for longer than necessary to be compatible with longer term decarbonising targets. (Source: University of Sheffield, PR, 29 Mar., 2018) Contact: University of Sheffield, Dr Grant Wilson, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Energy, +44 (0) 114 222 7608, grant.wilson@sheffield.ac.uk, www.sheffield.ac.uk; Dr Iain Staffell, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, +44 0 7940 329303, i.staffell@imperial.ac.uk, www.imperial.ac.uk www.sheffield.ac.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Sheffield,  Carbon Emissions,  UK Carbon Emissions,  


    ICAP 2018 Emissions Trading Worldwide Status Report (Report Attached)
    ICAP
    Date: 2018-03-02
    According to the recently released report ICAP Status Report 2018, China has overtaken the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) as the world's largest carbon market, covering more than three gigatons of CO2e.

    Since 2005, the share of global emissions capped by an ETS has tripled to almost 15 pct covering more than seven gigatons of carbon dioxide. Major ETS reforms have lifted carbon prices in the EU, California, New Zealand and the US Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and ensure these systems drive decarbonization post 2020.

    The report also notes efforts to price carbon are progressing in Latin America and subnationals in North America and Mexico will start piloting a mandatory ETS later this year.

    Download the full report HERE. (Source: ICAP, 27 Feb., 2018) Contact: ICAP, Jean-Yves Benoit, Dir. Carbon Market, www.icapcarbonaction.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ICAP,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  Carbon Market,  


    Coal Phase-Out, CO2-Pricing Triggers Divestment, says PIK Study (Ind. Report)
    Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact
    Date: 2018-01-29
    A new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact (PIK) finds that the Paris climate agreement into practice will trigger opposed reactions by investors on the one hand and fossil fuel owners on the other hand. It has been feared that the anticipation of strong CO2 reduction policies might trigger a 'green paradox' and drive up emissions before the regulations kick in while fossil fuel developers and owners might increase their resource extraction to maximize profits while investors abandon coal power plants in the expectation that their assets become stranded. The study finds that on balance, divestment beats the green paradox if substantial carbon pricing is credibly announced. Consequently, overall CO2 emissions would be effectively reduced.

    The syudy contends that while the Paris agreement is weak in short-term policy ambition it will require strong climate policies in the future to reduce emissions over the longer term. The study finds that ten years before carbon pricing policies are actually introduced, investors would start pulling out of the coal power sector. The study also suggests that adding a carbon price of $20 per ton of CO2 doubles the cost of using coal and thus makes it even less competitive.

    Computer simulations of energy markets' future dynamics are commonly used to investigate the economic effects of policies. The study's CO2 pricing simulations varied from $25 to $300 per ton CO2 by 2050, with a medium scenario reaching $100. These taxes were introduced with various delays to represent various degrees of climate policy stringency and credibility and to see how fossil fuel markets react in anticipation of such climate policies. Only if CO2 pricing starts very late, ie not before 2050, and then at a very low level, anticipation by market forces will lead to an increase in CO2 emissions instead of a decrease, the study finds.

    According to the study, if different CO2 pricing regulations at different price levels were to be introduced in different countries, some emissions-intensive production facilities would move from highly regulated areas to those with low standards.

    The Paris agreement delivered a strong signal that policy makers are taking climate change seriously and are ready and willing to deliver on the necessary emissions reductions. By anticipating the implementation of policies to tackle climate change, market forces will likely reduce emissions so long as the policy signals are strong, clear and credible, the study says. (Source: Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research , PR, 29 Jan., 2018) Contact: PIK, +49 331 288 25 07, www.pik-potsdam.de

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal news,  Paris Climate Agreement news,  


    Canadian Federal Carbon Tax Rebate Proposal Floated (Reg & Leg)
    Canada Carbon Tax
    Date: 2018-01-17
    In Ottawa, recently released Canadian government (Lib.) draft legislative proposes that any federal revenues raised by a carbon tax can either be rebated back to any provincial government that hasn't imposed a provincial carbon tax. A rebate could also go directly to individuals or divided between the two. Those province that voluntarily chooses to use the federal carbon price system will get the revenues to use how they see fit. But those that have the system imposed on them -- Saskatchewan and New Brunswick -- for refusing to enact one that meets the minimum requirements could find themselves sidestepped, with Ottawa sending those rebate cheques directly to residents.

    As previously reported, Ottawa requires every province to have a system with a minimum $20 per tonne carbon price in place by Jan. 1, 2019, rising by $10 a year until 2022. HERE. (Source: CBC, Various Media, Canadian Press, 15 Jan., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Carbon Tax,  


    Companies Quickly Adopting Carbon Pricing Schemes (Int'l Report)
    CDP,OECD
    Date: 2018-01-15
    The Economist is reporting that 41 OECD and G20 governments have announced either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade scheme, or both. Add state and local schemes, and they cover 15 pct of the world's emissions, up from 4 pct in 2010.

    Of the approximate 6,100 worldwide companies that report climate-related data to CDP, 607 now claim to use "internal carbon prices" while 782 say they will introduce similar measures within two years. Total annual revenues of these 1,389 carbon-price champions amount to $7 trillion, according to the Economist.

    CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, is an international non-profit that runs a global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to help manage their environmental impacts. (Source: CDP,Economist, Jan., 2017) Contact: CDP, (212) 378 2086, info.northamerica@cdp.net, www.cdp.net

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CDP,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Tax,  Carbon Pricing,  


    Notable Quotes from Former Aussie PM Tony Abbott
    Tony Abbott
    Date: 2018-01-05
    "The science of human-caused climate change is 'CRAP." -- Tony Abbott, Sept., 2009

    "I am confident, based on the science we have, that mankind does make a difference to climate, almost certainly the impact of humans on the planet extends to climate." -- Tony Abbott, May 27, 2010

    "There are respectable arguments for an ETS but the one Labor (the then governing party) has in mind could easily be expensive and futile. I am wary of a system which creates new vested interests - which an ETS will do. I suspect that a straight carbon tax or charge could be more transparent and easier to change if conditions change or our understanding of the science changes." -- Tony Abbott, ,July 10, 2009

    "We do not believe in artificially imposing a carbon price on consumers. There will be no carbon price on consumers under a (my)Coalition government." Tony Abbott, July 19, 2010

    "Now, we do have policy out there. We've had it out there since February. It basically goes -- it involves going to the market and buying abatements through soil carbon, through tree planting, through businesses that are prepared to change their processes to less emitting ones. It will reduce our emissions by five percent by 2020, so we will achieve our targets. Now, that's our commitment. It's doable. It's deliverable." -- Tony Abbott,16 August, 2010

    "Yeah, look, I never said it (climate change) was a myth. I once used some colourful language describing the so-called settled science of climate change but look, climate change is real, humanity does make a contribution to it and we've got to take effective action against it. I mean, that's my position and that's always been my position but I've never been in favour of a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme." -- Tony Abbott, July, 2011

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Tony Abbott,  Australia Carbon Tax,  Climate Change,  


    Vermont Carbon Tax Gaining Traction (Ind. Report)
    RGGI
    Date: 2017-11-17
    Last week in Vermont, Burlington-headquartered plant-based products manufacturer Seventh Generation Inc. proposed a state carbon tax that it says would drive down the state's electric power costs by imposing what would initially amount to a $5 per ton tax on fossil fuels for transportation and heating. The tax would rise by $5 a ton a year until 2025 when it would top out at $40 a ton, which is about what the EPA estimated in 2015 as the long-term environmental costs from 1 ton of carbon-dioxide pollution. Over the period, the carbon tax on gas would increase to 32 cents.

    Vermont is a participant in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-trade program that took effect in 2009. Through quarterly auctions, the RGGI program has priced carbon-dioxide pollution at between $2 and $7.50 per ton, but only for pollution from electricity. The costs of this carbon-pricing scheme are limited to electricity generated inside New England and its proceeds are invested in energy-efficiency efforts in the RGGI participating states -- Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. (Source: Seventh Generation Inc., , Vermont Digger, 12 Nov., 2017) Contact: Seventh Generation, Ashley Orgain, Outreach, (802) 658-3773, www.seventhgeneration.com; RGGI, (212) 417-3179, www.rggi.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vermont Carbon Tax,  Carbon Tax,  Carbon Price,  RGGI,  


    Canadian Clean Fuel Standard Behind Schedule (Reg & Leg)
    Clean Energy Canada
    Date: 2017-11-10
    In Ottawa, the Canadian federal government's plan to have national Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) regulations to help reduce vehicle emissions in place by mid-2018 is in doubt, according to Vancouver-based Clean Energy Canada. The CFS was supposed to start with consultations in the spring and then follow up with the framework this fall. The discussion paper came in February followed by discussion groups and consultations with other governments and industry, but Environment Minister Catherine McKenna will no longer commit to unveiling the framework before Christmas.

    The Canadian CFS would require fuel producers to reduce the carbon intensity of their products and require the blending of ethanol, biodiesel and/or renewable diesel with petroleum-based fuels. The CFS The standard aims to cut 30 million tonnes of annual greenhouse gas emissions total by 2030, which is more than one-third of the emissions cuts predicted from the entire Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

    A CFS could add 5 cents to the price of a litre of gasoline in addition to the 11.6 cents a litre a $50 a tonne carbon price is expected to add. (Source: Clean Energy Canada, CleanTech Canada, Canadian Manufacturing, Others, Nov., 2017) Contact: Clean Energy Canada, Jeremy Moorhouse, Snr. Policy Analyst, (604) 947-2200, www.cleanenergycanada.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CFS,  Clean Energy Canada,  Canada Clean Fuel Standard,  


    Newfoundland-Labrador Plans 2018 Carbon Tax Launch (Ind. Report)
    Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball
    Date: 2017-11-01
    In St.John's, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball (Liberal) reports his government will unveil a "made-in-Newfoundland and Labrador" carbon pricing plan that he expects the federal government in Ottawa to accept.

    Under Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's mandate, a federal carbon tax will apply to provinces that do not have a provincial carbon pollution pricing system in place by 2018. Individual provinces can choose either a direct-pricing system or a cap-and-trade system. Under a direct-pricing system, the carbon price would be mandated to start at a minimum of $10 per tonne in 2018 and rise by $10 per year to $50 per tonne in 2022. Under a cap-and-trade system, provinces would need to have a 2030 emissions reduction target equal to or greater than the fed's 30 pct reduction target.

    As previously reported, the Manitoba government last week released its "Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan" which calls for a starting price of $25 per tonne in 2018 -- half the 2022 amount mandated by the federal government. The Manitoba tax would remain stable through to 2022. (Source: Office of Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball, The Telegram, 30 Oct., 2017) Contact: Office of Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball, (709) 729-3570, prenier@gov.nl.ca, www.gov.nl.ca/premier

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Canada Carbon Tax,  


    Manitoba Releases Provincial Carbon Tax Scheme (Reg & Leg)
    Carbon Tax
    Date: 2017-10-30
    On the Canadian prairies, the Manitoba government reports the release of its "Made in Manitoba" plan to fight climate change, saying the federal government's target for a carbon price would "impose an intolerable financial burden on Manitoba families and businesses." The Manitoba plan sets a carbon price of $25 per tonne -- half the federal government's target of $50 per tonne by 2022.

    The federal government of Justin Truseau (Lib) has demanded that provinces establish a carbon tax that would start at $10 a tonne next year and rise to $50 a tonne by 2022. Manitoba claims its $25 per ton tax is fairer, will remain consistent, and "will achieve more than twice as many emissions reductions as the federal carbon tax." Cumulative emissions are projected to drop by more than one megatonne over the next five years under the Manitoba plan -- 80,000 tonnes more than with the federal carbon tax, according to the Manitoba plan. (Source: Gov. of Manitoba, CBC, 27 Oct., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Carbon Tax,  Manitoba Carbon Tax,  Carbon Tax,  


    UK Utility Supports "Robust, Strong Carbon Price" (Int'l)
    SSE,Scottish and Southern Energy
    Date: 2017-10-23
    The UK utility major Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has come out in favour of a "robust and strong carbon price" as the best way to meet government goals to combat climate change without further regulation and with fewer state subsidies. SSE, the largest UK utility by market capitalization, has warned the government that energy companies need clarity in its approach to taxing carbon emissions if it expects utilities to invest in a new generation of gas-fired power stations.

    In 2013, Britain introduced a carbon price support mechanism under which power generators pay a levy of £23 per tonne of carbon emitted -- almost five times more than in the rest of the EU. These arrangements have prompted power generators to shut down many of their coal-fired power stations in the UK. (Source: SSE, Sandbag, Financial Times, 22 Oct., 2017) Contact: Scottish and Southern Energy, www.ssepd.co.uk; Sandbag, www.sandbag.org.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UK Carbon Tax,  Carbon,  Sandbag,  Climate Change,  


    Higher EU ETS Carbon Price Expected in 2019 (Int'l)
    EU ETS
    Date: 2017-10-18
    According to a just released Reuters report, analysts have raised their forecasts for 2019 European carbon prices in the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) on expectations that plans to reform the market will significantly curb oversupply.

    Analysts expect EU Allowances (EUAs) to average €7.16 euros/tonne in 2018, and €9.92 per tonne in 2019, according to the survey of seven analysts by Reuters published on Wednesday. The forecasts were up 19 pct and 16 pct, respectively, on prices given in July, of €6.01 for 2018 and € 8.54 euros for 2019.

    The European Union's ETS, a cap-and-trade permit system to regulate industry pollution, has suffered from an excess of allowances (EAUs) supply since the financial crisis. (Source: Times of India, Reuters, Others, 11 Oct., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EUAs,  EU ETS,  Carbon Emissions,  Emissions Trading,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Netherlands Killing Coal by 2030 (Int'l Report)
    Netherlands, Coal
    Date: 2017-10-16
    The new four-party coalition government of the Netherlands reports it plans to introduce a binding target to lower CO2 emissions by 2030 in order to put a floor beneath carbon prices. Meanwhile, coal-fired power plant will have to comply with recently revised pollution standards that will be implemented after 2021 and will include tougher limits for emissions of mercury, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide.

    According to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), the proposed legislation is expected to be a blow for utilities Engie , RWE AG and Uniper SE (FRA:UN01), which brought 3 new coal-fired power plants on line in 2015. The Netherlands aims to source 14 pct of its energy mix from renewables by 2020 and reduce to 16 pct the share of emissions in non-Emissions Trading System (ETS) sectors from 2005 levels. (Source: Various Media, Renewables Now, Others, 12 Oct., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal,  Renewable Energy,  Renewables,  


    UK Coal-Fired Power Plant Closures Plan Confirmed (Int'l)
    UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
    Date: 2017-10-13
    In London, the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is confirming that the UK federal government is proceeding with its plan to phase out unabated coal-fired power stations by 2025 to reduce carbon emissions and air pollution.

    BEIS reiterated its decision to close coal-fired power plants following lengthy consultations with businesses, trade bodies, interested individuals and other stakeholders, the majority of which felt "there is unlikely to be a significant risk to security of supply from regulating to close unabated coal." Many industry participants concluded that regulation was "not necessarily required to drive the switch away from coal." Many underscored the effectiveness of carbon pricing -- carbon tax -- through the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) and UK's Carbon Price Support and the emissions reduction requirements under the Industrial Emissions Directive. The was "little support" for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to be deployed to existing coal plants due to the nascent nature of this technology, high development costs and uncertain timetable for investment. (Source: UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, SPG Global, Platts, Oct., 2017) Contact: UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal,  CCS,  Carbon Tax,  Clean Coal,  EI,  


    EU MEPs Considering UK's Post-Brexit EU ETS Status (Int'l)
    EU ETS,Brexit
    Date: 2017-09-13
    Reuters is reporting that European Union Parliamentarians(EU MEPs) will today to protect the EU carbon market -- EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) from collapse brought about by the UK's withdrawal -- Breixt -- from the EU. It is feared that the EU ETS scheme of carbon prices and credit trading could crash if the Brexit negations prove slow and the UK fails to reach at least a transitional trade deal with the EU before its complete withdrawal from the 28 member trading bloc less than two years from now. EU lawmakers will vote on a proposal to void all emissions permits issued by a country exiting the EU.

    The UK is the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Europe and its utilities are among the largest purchasers of EU ETS permits. (Source: EU, Reuters, Others, 11 Sept., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Brexit,  Carbon Emissions,  European Union,  


    Notable Quote
    Carbon Tax
    Date: 2017-09-06
    "We're taking action on a number of issues I know mean a lot to people here in Saskatoon and across this great province. That includes moving forward with our plan to put a price on carbon pollution.

    "I know this can be a contentious issue but I also know it's the best way for Canada to reduce emissions while we grow our economy in a clean and sustainable way." -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Lib), 31 Aug., 2017)

    Editor's Note: Last December, eleven Canadian provinces and territories -- excluding Saskatchewan and Manitoba -- agreed to the carbon price plan in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The federal government wants provinces to phase in carbon pricing that would reach $50 a tonne by 2022 or develop a cap-and-trade system. If the provinces fail to do so, the feds have promised to impose a plan upon them.

    The Manitoba government of Premier Brian Pallister (PC) has been considering a $25 per tonne carbon tax by 2022 -- half of what the federal government has insisted must be in place by 2022. Manitoba farmers would be exempt from the tax, which, at $25 per tonne, would raise $250 million annually and add about $6.00 to the cost of a 50-litre tank of gasoline and up the cost of an average home's natural gas heating cost by $265 per year. (Source: Manitoba Sustainable Development, Canada Press, Others, Contact: Government of Manitoba, Premier Hon. Brian Pallister, premier@leg.gov.mb.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cap-and-Trade,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Tax,  


    Economists Call for $100 Carbon Tax by 2030 (Int'l Report)
    Carbon Tax,Carbon Price
    Date: 2017-06-07
    In a recently published report, Nobel Laureate and Columbia University Porf. Joseph Stiglitz and former World Bank chief economist Lord Nicholas Stern, meeting in Berlin, have suggested that carbon dioxide should be taxed at $40-$80 per ton by 2020 and be ramped up to $100 per metric ton or more by 2030 to help fight global warming. In the EU, carbon prices are presently slightly under $6 per ton.

    According to the economists, the high price and price certainty would give businesses and governments an incentive to lower emissions even when fossil fuels are relatively inexpensive. They also suggest that poor countries could aim for a lower tax since their economies are more vulnerable.

    On March 15, 2017 we quoted Lord Stern: "The basic scientific conclusions on climate change are very robust and for good reason. The greenhouse effect is simple science: greenhouse gases trap heat, and humans are emitting ever more greenhouse gases." (Source: AFP, Various Media, June, 207) Contact: Lord Nicholas Stern, London School of Economics, +44 (0) 20 7955-7871; n.stern@lse.ac.uk, www.lse.ac.uk; Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University, (212) 854-1481,jes322@columbia.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  Lord Nicholas Stern,  


    Notable Quote
    Carbon Tax
    Date: 2017-06-07
    "Specific carbon price (tax) levels will need to be tailored to country conditions and policy choices. Carbon pricing makes sense in all but low-income countries, which may be more challenged to protect the people vulnerable to the initial economic impacts, may decide to start pricing carbon at a lower level and gradually increase over time." -- Professor Harald Winkler, University of Cape Town, www.acdi.uct.ac.za/associates/professor-harald-winkler

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Price,  Carbon Tax,  


    Kiwi's to Spend $14Bn to Meet Paris Agreement Targets (Int'l)
    New Zealand
    Date: 2017-05-22
    In a briefing of recently released documents from the New Zealand Official Information Act, Energy Minister Judith Collins said the cost to the economy of purchasing international carbon credits to offset New Zealand’s emissions will be $14.2 billion over ten years -- $1.4 billion annually. According to the minister, "an over reliance on overseas purchasing at the expense of domestic reductions could also leave New Zealand exposed in the face of increasing global carbon prices beyond 2030".

    The minister added It's not yet known where the money will come from to foot the $14.2 billion dollar bill but noted that businesses reliant on carbon-intensive transport will be required to purchase international credits to account for their emissions, while the government will absorb the cost of buying credits for industries exempt from the Emissions Trading Scheme such as agriculture.

    New Zealand's pledge under the Paris Agreement is to reduce emissions by 30 pct below 2005 levels by 2030 while domestic emissions are expected to increase. Source: NZ Newshub, 22 May, 2017) Contact: Energy Minister, Judith Collins, https://judithcollins.national.org.nz

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Credits news,  Cap-and-Trade news,  Carbon Emissions news,  


    Aussie Power Prices Doubled with Axing of Carbon Tax (Int'l)
    Australia Carbon Tax
    Date: 2017-03-10
    In the Land Down Under, an analysis by the University of Melbourne's Climate and Energy College reports that the average wholesale electricity price soared to $134 a megawatt hour in the summer just finished, compared with $65-$67 in the two summers the carbon price was in place. It nearly tripled in 12 months in Queensland and NSW, and doubled in South Australia. Only Victoria among eastern mainland states escaped.

    The dramatic increase, which has been blamed on everything from soaring fuels prices to uncertainty over the fate of aging coal-fired power plants, fuelling mounting calls for a bipartisan energy plan and a return to some form of carbon trading -- carbon tax to limit future price rises, ct emissions and help Australia meet its international climate targets. (Source: University of Melbourne Climate and Energy College, The Australian, 9 Mar., 2017) Contact: University of Melbourne Climate and Energy College, +61 3 8344 4124, www.climate-energy-college.net

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Australia Carbon Tax,  Carbon Tax,  


    UK to Reset Carbon Price Following EU ETS Brexit (Int'l)
    EU ETS,European Union
    Date: 2017-03-10
    At Whitehall, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt. Hon. Philip Hammond's new budget is suggesting that the UK government will set a new carbon price following Brexit and the country's exit from the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

    According to the new budget, starting 2021/22, the government will target a total carbon price and set the specific tax rate at a later date. The budget announcement is intended to pave the way towards a domestic scheme designed to disincentivize high carbon emissions, although previous similar programmes to regulate high energy use have been criticized for allowing the most energy intensive industries a reprieve from regulations. (Source: Various Media, Clean Energy, 9 Mar., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  GHGs,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Monsanto Cuts GHGs, Approaches Carbon Neutrality (Ind. Report)
    Monsanto
    Date: 2017-02-24
    St.Louis-headquartered agribusiness giant Monsanto reports it has achieved 89 pct of its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from crop protection operations by 22 pct -- per pound of active ingredient -- by 2020, according to its 2016 sustainability report. The company says reducing the GHG intensity of its crop protection business is a key piece of its multi-pronged approach to reaching this goal. Other pieces include investing in less energy-intensive technologies, setting an internal carbon price, and collaborating with farmers on carbon-neutral crop production.

    In 2016 Monsanto established the Carbon-Neutral Collaborative to help develop a scalable and verifiable carbon accounting framework for the agriculture industry and co-founded the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative to help farmers improve their bottom line while conserving natural resources through sustainable agriculture practices. The company also commissioned and publicly shared a third-party study showing that widespread adoption of recommended climate smart agricultural practices could potentially absorb more carbon than 2.5 billion tree seedlings grown for 10 years, in the US alone. (Source: Monsanto, Env. Leader, 21 Feb., 2017) Contact: Monsanto, www.discover.monsanto.com, www.monsanto.info/climatech15

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Monsanto,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  Carbon Neutrality,  


    Singapore Planning Carbon Tax to Cut GHG Emissions (Int'l)
    National Climate Change Secretariat
    Date: 2017-02-20
    The Singapore Times is reporting that Singapore will impose a carbon price as a way to cut greenhouse emissions and to meet its commitments under last December's Paris Agreement. The Government is now determining the timeline as early as 2010 and what form of carbon pricing to take, according to the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS).

    The move follows other NCCS initiatives aimed at the country's pledge to slash emissions intensity to 36 pct below 2005 levels by 2030. To help reach its goal, the government plans to improve manufacturing sector energy efficiency and tighten energy monitoring and reporting requirements for large industrial players. The industry sector, which accounted for 59 pct of Singapore's greenhouse gas emissions in 2012, is expected to take most of the weight of a carbon price. The petroleum refining, chemicals and semiconductor sectors made up the bulk of these emissions. mechanisms to price carbon.

    Worldwide carbon prices range from about $1 per tonne of carbon emissions in Poland and Mexico, to $137 per tonne in Sweden, according to the World Bank. (Source: Singapore National Climate Change Secretariat, Singapore Times, 17 Feb., 2017) Contact: Singapore National Climate Change Secretariat, https://www.nccs.gov.sg

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  


    Notable Quotes
    Sandbag,Agora Energiewende
    Date: 2017-01-30
    "The large switch from dirty coal to gas is welcome news. It helps the climate, and more importantly leads to cleaner air for Europe. Further switching away from coal is possible without building new gas pipelines and gas power plants. However, the ingredients to make this happen do not yet exist -- few old coal plants have announced they are planning to close and gas is still more expensive than coal because of a low carbon price ."

    David Jones, Sandbag analyst commenting on the failing EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), structural oversupply has now passed the landmark of 3 billion tonnes of CO2. (Source: Sandbag, David Jones, 25th January 2017) Contact: Sandbag, David Jones, +44 (0) 2038 766451, dave@sandbag.org.uk, www.sandbag.org.uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EU Carbon Emissions,  Sandbag,  


    CDP Initiative Aims to Develop Credible Carbon Pricing for Investors (Ind. Report)
    CDP,Carbon Disclosure Project
    Date: 2017-01-25
    The London-headquartered Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), on behalf of the We Mean Business Coalition, reports it has has convened a panel of utilities and investment leaders from across the G20 under the Carbon Pricing Corridors initiative -- the world's first industry-led initiative aimed at defining the carbon prices needed for the power sector to meet the COP21 Paris Agreement. Over the next two years, the CEOs from PGGM, Engie, Bank of America, Iberdrola, YesBank, Hermes Fund Managers and other leaders will shape realistic prognoses of the range of investment-grade carbon prices needed to de-carbonize electric power generation through 2020, 2025 and 2030. During the course of 2017, the initiative will expand its scope beyond the power sector to include other high-emitting sectors.

    The recently published recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures point to the clear need for investors to be able to stress test their portfolios against a below 2 degree C scenario. The Carbon Pricing Corridors initiative is due to report on its initial projections for credible carbon price ranges in Spring 2017. (Source: CDP, Sustainable Brands, 23 Jan., 2017)Contact: CDP, Paul Simpson, CEO, +44 (0) 20 3818 3946, www.cdp.net; We Mean Business Coalition, www.wemeanbusinesscoalition.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP21,  CDP,  Carbon Disclosure Project,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Aussie GHG Emissions Projected to Continue Rising (Int'l)
    Australia Department of Environment and Energy
    Date: 2016-12-23
    In the Land Down Under, recently released data from the Australian Department of Environment and Energy shows that, based on current policies, Australian GHG emissions will continue to rise and the country will miss its 2030 carbon emissions reduction goals.

    The official quarterly figures tracking growth in year-on-year emissions, confirms projections from the Melbourne-based independent consultancy Ndevr Environmental's prediction that Australia's emissions would be rising, and would continue to do so. The government figures suggest that in 2030, emissions will have risen by 10 pct above June, 2016 levels -- 1 billion tonnes more than permitted under the country's 2030 emissions and climate change commitments.

    The report projections do not take into account policies that might emerge from the government's 2017 review of climate policy. The review is not expected to include discussions of any form of carbon price, cap-and-trade or emissions intensity scheme. (Source: Australia Department of Environment and Energy, SBS, Guardian, Others, 22 Dec., 2016) Contact: Australia Department of Environment and Energy www.environment.gov.au; Ndver Environmental Consulting, +61 3 9865 6225, www.ndevrenvironmentalconsulting.com.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Australia Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  

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