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Russian Long Range Climate Change Plans Quashed (Int'l Report)

Date: 2020-01-08
Following up on our 23rd October, 2019 coverage, The Moscow Daily is reporting the Kremlin has drastically watered-down its new national carbon trading system and penalties for major emitters as part of its climate change plan in the face of resistance from the country's largest companies and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP). The government will however, go ahead with proposals to measure and collect data on emissions as part of a five-year green audit, according to the Moscow Daily report.

Following the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, the Russian government proposed introducing new climate legislation in two phases -- a five-year stock-taking exercise to measure company-level emissions and set appropriate quotas for reducing emissions and a carbon cap on the country's biggest polluters and penalties for those that exceed their quotas. Earlier plans also envisaged the creation of a national fund to support emissions reduction and a system of nation-wide carbon trading. (Source: Kommersant, Moscow Daily, Dec., 2019) Contact: Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, eng.rspp.ru


Madrid Climate Talks failed! What Now? asks Amnesty International (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
COP25,Amnesty International
Date: 2019-12-20
" 'What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? NOW!!!' If you have been to just one climate march in your life, you will have certainly heard this slogan. It has become omnipresent whenever people are expressing concerns over the climate crisis. Behind this simple chant, there are deep demands rooted in human rights principles. There is the call for fast climate action by government and corporations, to avoid even more catastrophic human rights impacts than what we are seeing now. There is the appeal to wealthier industrialized states which have contributed the most to the climate crisis to step up and pay up in order to redress some of the injustices accentuated by climate change. There is the reminder that climate action needs to have people's participation and human rights, including Indigenous peoples' rights, at its centre. At all costs it needs to avoid human rights violations and contribute to making society a more equal, just and inclusive place for all.

"Yet human rights considerations still play a marginal role in climate negotiations. The outcomes of the Madrid climate talks (COP25) are just another proof of it. Following a year of school climate strikes and mass mobilization in many countries of the world, states were expected to act in line with the urgency proved by scientists and increasingly felt by people. Instead, most wealthier countries and other high emitting countries remained stuck in selfish and short-sighted considerations which prevented real progress.

"While the final COP25 decision recognized the urgency of enhancing climate action, it failed to set a clear obligation for states to come up with ambitious national climate plans in 2020 capable of keeping the global average temperature rise below 1.5 degrees C. This shows a complete disregard for the human rights of people who will be most affected by spiking climate impacts. For millions of people around the world, the formulation and, above all, the implementation of strong climate plans simply means a difference between life and death.

"Wealthy countries are responsible for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions and have for years profited from them, while people in poorest countries are suffering most of the damages inflicted by the climate crisis. In Madrid, they had the opportunity to recognize this historic imbalance and accept their duty to pay for the devastation already wreaked by climate impacts such as cyclones, droughts and sea-level rise. Instead, they opposed the mobilization of new and additional resources to support affected people. This in practice means turning their back to the almost 4 million people who have lost their homes, livelihoods or access to public services in the two cyclones in Mozambique earlier this year, or to residents of Pacific islands in urgent need of relocation due to sea-level rise.

"Similarly, states were once again unable to reach an agreement on mechanisms allowing countries to trade emission reductions. Countries like Australia, Brazil and China continued to push for loopholes which would have ultimately resulted in weakening the effects of climate mitigation measures, in violation of the rights of those who stand most at risk from climate impacts.

"Also, worryingly, there was insufficient willingness from states to include explicit reference to human rights safeguards in carbon trading rules. Such guarantees are necessary to ensure that negative human rights impacts can be assessed and addressed prior to adopting climate mitigation projects and that people directly impacted by carbon market projects have a say in shaping such measures. This is a very strong demand from Indigenous peoples, as they too often have paid the price of ill-conceived climate projects, such as hydroelectric dams or biogas initiatives initiated without their free, prior and informed consent and resulting in forced evictions, water contamination, or permanent damage to their cultural rights.

"What came out of this last round of climate negotiations paints a grim picture. It was certainly a source of frustration at COP25, prompting civil society observers to take a massive direct action inside the negotiation venue on 11 December. This move was met with an unprecedented decision by UN security officers to expel more than 300 observers for the day.

"In 2020 we need to step up our game. We need to forge strong coalitions at national level to demand ambitious and human rights-compliant climate action that achieves a just transition away from fossil fuels. We need to mobilize like never before. The world's most important struggle needs the world's most powerful, diverse and united people's mass movement ever assembled. As the year ends, we can all start 2020 by making our new or renewed commitment to climate justice our New Year's resolution." (Source: Amnesty International, 17 Dec., 2019) Contact: Amnesty International, www.amnesty.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  


Finland City Pilots Personal Carbon Trading App (Int'l Report)
City of Lahti
Date: 2019-11-13
In Finland, the city of Lahti (pop. 120,000) is the first city in the world to experiment with and test a personal carbon trading scheme -- a mobile phone app called CitiCAP -- that can detect the user's travel modes in real time, identify the user's transportation according to the speed, and calculate the corresponding carbon emissions, time and distance traveled. By choosing public transportation, walking or other sustainable travel modes the user can earn virtual credits exchangeable into sustainable services in the marketplace of the application.

Lahti residents can volunteer to participate in the testing. Once they become users, they receive their personal carbon budget for mobility. The city plans to incorporate the CitiCAP app program in its urban transport planning to help cut carbon emissions and fight climate change. (Source: City of Lahti, Xinhuanet, 11 Nov., 2019) Contact: City of Lahti, Anna Huttunen, Project Manager, www.lahti.fi

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Trading,  


Moscow's Long Range Climate Change Plans Quashed (Int'l Report)
Russia Climate Change
Date: 2019-10-18
The Moscow Daily is reporting the Russian government has drastically watered-down its new national carbon trading system and penalties for major emitters as part of its climate change plan in the face of resistance from the country's largest companies and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP). The government will however, go ahead with proposals to measure and collect data on emissions as part of a five-year green audit, according to the Moscow Daily report.

Following the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, the Russian government proposed introducing new climate legislation in two phases -- a five-year stock-taking exercise to measure company-level emissions and set appropriate quotas for reducing emissions and a carbon cap on the country's biggest polluters and penalties for those that exceed their quotas. Earlier plans also envisaged the creation of a national fund to support emissions reduction and a system of nation-wide carbon trading. (Source: Kommersant, Moscow Daily, Oct., 2019) Contact: Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, eng.rspp.ru

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


China Fighting Climate Change with Nature-Based Solutions (Int'l.)
Ministry of Ecology and Environment
Date: 2019-09-23
In Beijing, China's top environmental authority, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment has reaffirmed the country's commitment to fulfilling its Paris Agreement climate change pledge through the adoption of "nature-based solutions" and "greater efforts to improve biodiversity, forestation, and water resources, among other priorities."

From 2005 to 2018, China's carbon emission intensity dropped by 45.8 pct, the Ministry noted, adding that the government will continue to promote climate adaptation, as well as carbon trading, to reduce the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

China's carbon emissions are widely expected to peak between 2021 and 2025 -- several years ahead of 2030, the target China set for itself as part of the Paris Agreement. (Source: China Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Peoples Republic of China, PR, Xinhua, 19 Sept., 2019) Contact: China Ministry of Ecology and Environment, english.mee.gov.cn

More Low-Carbon Energy News China Ministry of Ecology and Environment,  Climate Change China,  Paris Climate Afreement,  Carbon Emissions,  


Switzerland Targets Climate Neutrality by 2050 (Int'l Report)
Switzerland
Date: 2019-08-30
In Bern, the government of Switzerland reports it will hike its existing target of cutting it greenhouse gases by 70-85 pct by 2050 to 100 pct carbon neutrality by the same year.

The non-EU member sources about 60 pct of its electricity from hydropower, 33 pct from nuclear and the rest from fossil fuels. Of the total, fossil fuels still make up about 63 pct of which roughly 10 pct is from aviation -- the global average aviation emissions is between 2 and 3 pct. Switzerland's domestic carbon trading scheme includes aviation emissions in the same way the EU ETS system does and the two are linked. (Source: Various Media, EURACTIV, 29 Aug., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Neutral,  Aviation Emissions,  EU ETS,  


Taipei Urged to Draft Decarbonization Climate Change Policy (Int'l)
Taiwan,eep Decarbonization Pathways Project
Date: 2019-06-07
In Taiwan, the Taipei-based research university Academia Sinica has released its Taiwan Deep Decarbonization Policy White Paper as a recommendation to the Taiwanese government for developing relevant national strategies aimed at achieving a low carbon future.

According to the report, Taiwan should follow the mindset of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), a global consortium formed in 2013. Although Taiwan is not a member of the DDPP, it could study the various open-source research and policy recommendations to reduce annual carbon emissions per person to 1.7 metric tons by 2050, which is also a goal set by the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Based on the progress of Taiwan's Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act, it is likely that the country will only be able to reduce carbon emissions per person to 5.4-6 metric tons by 2050, which is far higher than the figure set by the DDPP, the white paper cautioned.

The study also recommends the government should revisit related government-led strategies concerning carbon trading, energy taxes and draft better incentives for industry and consumers.

The government should also push a more comprehensive climate act to serve as a national guideline, an create an open and transparent platform so that stakeholders from the public and private sectors can exchange climate change related information.

Academia Sinica, headquartered in Nangang District, Taipei, is the national academy of the Republic of China. It supports research activities in a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from mathematical and physical sciences, to life sciences, the humanities and social sciences. (Source: Academia Sinica, Focus Taiwan, June, 2019) Contact: Academia Sinica, +886 2 2782 2120, www.sinica.edu.tw/en; Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, www.deepdecarbonization.org

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


UN says Global Efforts to Curb CO2 Off Track (Ind. Report)
Carbon Emissions
Date: 2018-12-07
According to a United Nations 2018 survey, in 2017 CO2 emissions rose for the first time in 4 years to a record high. The rise is attributed to global economic growth and a decreasing momentum in addressing the issue on national levels.

From 2014 to 2016, CO2 emissions from energy production and industries held reasonably steady at stable limits and the global economy saw a modest growth. Emissions rose by 1.2 pct in 2017, pushed by greater GDP. Although this number nay be small, it isn't as far as IPCC report about keeping global temperature rise below 1.5C is concerned.

Presently, the Earth is heading towards a 3.2C rise by the end of the century. By 2030, global greenhouse gases emissions must be reduced by 55 pct and countries must increase their emissions reduction targets five-fold.

To meet the COP15 Paris climate change goals, global emissions must peak by 2020, which is unlikely even by 2030 when the current rise in emissions is taken into account.

But according to the report, all hope isn't lost. Non-state actors like high education institutions, businesses, regional, local and city governments can make major contributions to solving the problem. About 6,000 companies and over 7,000 cities from 133 nations have pledged to take action with revenue worth $36 trillion. With more than 500,000 publicly traded companies around the world, more can be done. This sector has the potential to cut down CO2 emissions by 19gigatonnes equivalent every year by 2030, keeping the world on the 2C path. Carbon trading systems and taxes cover just 15 pct of global carbon output, according to the UN report. (Source: UN, Industry News Network, Mary Bronson, 6 December, 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  Greenhouse Gas,  


China's Carbon Market Trades Exceed $863Mn (Int'l Report)
Ministry of Ecology and Environment
Date: 2018-11-30
China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment is reporting the country's seven fledgling pilot carbon trading schemes reached $863.9 million as total of 250Mt of CO2 changed hands on the exchanges by the end of October.

China's pilot CO2 trading schemes cover the cities of Beijing, Tianjan, Shanghai, Chongqing and Shenzhen, and the provinces of Guangdong and Hebei. In 2017, the cities-regional schemes were replaced by a national scheme which has to date made limited progress, according to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment. (Source: China Ministry of Ecology and Environment, CemNet, Others, 26 Nov., 2018) Contact: China Ministry of Ecology and Environment, http://english.mee.gov.cn

More Low-Carbon Energy News China Carbon Market,  


Chinese Carbon Trading Transactions Top $860Mn (Int'l Report)
China Carbon Market,Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment
Date: 2018-11-28
In Beijing, the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment is reporting the country's carbon trading transaction values have exceeded 6 billion yuan ($860 million) since June 2013, with traded emission quotas exceeding 270 million tonnes.

The agency noted that "China's carbon emission declined both in intensity and amount in the pilot carbon trading areas. The carbon market has fulfilled its role in controlling greenhouse gas emissions and promoting low-carbon development." The agency added that China will advance the construction of carbon trading market and gradually expand the number of industries, trading entities and categories that participate in the national carbon market which was launched in 2017.

The Chinese carbon emissions trading system includes power generation, iron and steel production and cement manufacturing sectors in seven provinces and municipalities.

Under the Paris Climate Agreement, China will cut its carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60 to 65 pct by 2030 from the 2005 level. By the end of 2017, China had cut CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 46 pct from 2005 levels, fulfilling its commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 to 45 pct from the 2005 level by 2020. (Source: Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Xinhua, 26 Nov., 2018)Contact: China National Development and Reform Commission, en.ndrc.gov.cn; Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment, english.mee.gov.cn

More Low-Carbon Energy News China Carbon Market,  Cap-and-Trade,  CO2,  Carbon Emissions,  


Ellgrass CO2 Sink Loss Studied (Int'l, Research Report)
Carbob Sequestration
Date: 2018-11-02
In a new study spanning coastal areas of the Northern Hemisphere, researchers at Abo Akademi University explored the magnitude of organic carbon stocks stored and sequestered by eelgrass meadows -- the most abundant seagrass species in temperate waters.

According to the study, eelgrass organic carbon stocks were comparable to organic carbon stocks of tropical seagrass species, as well as mangroves, salt marshes and terrestrial ecosystems. The researchers also found that on average, eelgrass meadows stored 27.2 tons of organic carbon per hectare, although the variation between the regions was considerable

In the marine systems, the blue carbon species alone account for up to 33 pct of the total oceanic CO2 uptake. In contrast to terrestrial soils, which usually store carbon up to decades, the carbon stored in blue carbon ecosystems may persist for timescales of millennia or longer and thus, contribute significantly to climate change mitigation and alleviation of the rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Despite the importance of these ecosystems, to date, none of them are included in the global carbon trading programmes. Alarmingly, in the past 50 years, at least one-third of the distribution area of coastal vegetated ecosystems has been lost. (Source: Abo Akademi University, Public Press Release, 31 Oct., 2018) Contact: Abo Akademi University, Christoffer Bostrom , Associate Professor in Environmental and Marine Biology, +358 50 431 8226, christoffer.bostrom@abo.fi, www.abo.fi

More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Carbon,  CO2,  Carbon Sink,  Carbon Sequestration,  EllGrass,  


C4COIN Raises $450,000 in Seed Funding (Ind. Report)
C4Coin
Date: 2018-05-25
In the Big Apple, carbon negative blockchain technology developer C4Coin reports the closing of a $450,000 seed funding round led by Miles O'Brien. The funds will be used to grow the company's team and to advance foundational partnerships.

Founded in 2017, C4Coin will reward eco-conscious activities that generate verifiable carbon offsets. Users creating these offsets will receive carbon credit tokens called CO2KNs. These tokens can be retired through an innovative consensus protocol to earn a traditional crypto-asset called C4Coin.

The company plans to launch its blockchain in Q4 2018.

The name C4Coin stems from the biological process of carbon fixation. Plants take CO2 and inorganic Carbon 4 and break them down into organic, useable carbon and oxygen. (Source: C4Coin, PR, 24 May, 2018) Contact: C4Coin, Harrison Perl, CEO, www.c4coin.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Offset,  Carbon Credits,  Carbon Trading,  


Chinese Carbon Market Boosts Emissions Controls (Int'l Report)
China,Carbon Emissions
Date: 2018-03-30
In Shanghai, the Chinese news agency Xinhua is quoting the country's climate change specialist Xie Zhenhua as saying China's carbon trading system enabled the country to reach its 2020 carbon emissions target 3 years ahead of schedule in 2017. According to Xie Zhenhua, China cut its CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 46 pct from the 2005 level, fulfilling its commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 to 45 percent from the 2005 level by 2020.

From 2005 to 2015, China's economy grew by 1.48 times, and at the same time, the carbon intensity dropped by 38.6 pct. In 2016, the rate continued to fall by 6.6 pct year on year. Under the Paris Agreement, China will have to cut CO2 per unit of GDP by 60-65 pct by 2030 from the 2005 level.

China's carbon emissions trading system was initiated in 2011 and includes power generation, iron and steel production and cement manufacturing sectors in seven provinces and municipalities including Shanghai, Xie said. To date, 200 million tonnes of carbon emissions quotas had been transacted via the platform by the end of 2017, with total turnover hitting 4.7 billion yuan (751 million U.S. dollars). The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) launched a nationwide carbon emissions trading system in the power generation industry in December last year. Under the scheme, enterprises are assigned emissions quotas and those producing more than their share of emissions are allowed to buy unused quotas on the market from those that cause less pollution. (Source: NDRC, Xinhua, 27 Mar., 2018)Contact: China National Development and Reform Commission, en.ndrc.gov.cn

More Low-Carbon Energy News China Carbon Market,  China Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  NDRC,  


Virginia Carbon Reduction Plan -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
Virginia Carbon Reduction Plan
Date: 2018-03-21
The attached Virginia Carbon Reduction Plan from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality was created after former Governor Terry McAuliffe issued an executive order in May 2017 to assess and to develop and action plan to address the impact of climate change on the Old Dominion State.

The plan includes cutting carbon emissions from coal-fired power plant by 30 pct, and establishing a carbon trading market to work with similar markets to those now in place in the Northeastern United States.

According to the report, 420,000 families and some military bases located along the Virginia coast could be impacted by rising storm surges and flooding, and projected that if the worst case scenario came to pass, $92 billion would be spent to cover reconstruction costs.

Download Virginia Carbon Reduction Plan details HERE. (Source: CourthouseNews, 19 Mar., 2018) Va. DEQ, www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Air/GreenhouseGasPlan.aspx

More Low-Carbon Energy News Virginia Carbon Reduction Plan,  


2017 China Carbon Pricing Survey Findings Released (Int'l)
China Carbon Market
Date: 2017-11-29
According to the independent China Carbon Forum's 2017 China Carbon Pricing Survey, 38 pct of respondents believe emission trading is at least moderately affecting investment decisions in China, even as the nation is still running regional pilot programs. The survey suggests the percentage will continue to rise through to 2025, when 75 pct of those surveyed would likely say emission trading will at least affect their investment decisions.

The survey was launched as China prepares to upgrade its current pilot carbon trading programs in seven regions to a national one within the year with prices expected to rise from about 38 yuan ($5.74) per ton of carbon dioxide emitted in 2017, to 74 yuan per ton in 2020 and 108 yuan per ton in 2025, the survey showed. Most survey respondents expect the ETS will be fully functional around 2020.

Download the survey HERE. (Source: China Carbon Forum, China Global Times, 22 Nov., 2017) Contact: Chine Carbon Forum, www.chinacarbon,info

More Low-Carbon Energy News China Carbon Market,  


Brown Calls for EU, California, Cap-and-Trade Links (Ind. Report)
Carbon Markets
Date: 2017-11-10
Speaking to gathering EU parliamentarians this week in Brussels, California Governer Jerry Brown said "Climate change is a threat to all of humanity, to all species, and it can only be solved by a global cooperative effort that must be far greater than it is today." To that end, Brown recommended that his state link its signature cap-and-trade climate-change program to its European counterpart. Such a link could make it less expensive for businesses to cut emissions, Brown said.

"We're not there yet, and I can't tell you exactly what all the technical hurdles are, (but) the goal ultimately is to have a large, worldwide carbon trading system -- with California, in some way, linking with the European Union an immediate goal," the governor added. (Source: Capital Public Radio, 7 Nov., 2017) Contact: Governor of California, Edmund G. (Jerry) Browm, (916) 445-2841, http://gov.ca.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Jerry Brown ,  Cap-and-Trade,  California Carbon Market,  


Beijing Prepares for COP23 Climate Change Leadership (Int'l)
COP23,Climate Change
Date: 2017-11-01
Despite Washington's previous role in combating climate change, then Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, China appears to be positioning itself to take a lead role at next week's COP23 climate talks in Bonn, according to the Financial Post. It is widely agreed that Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, had an obvious negative impact on the international community's confidence in the U.S.' commitment to fight climate change and its leadership, a role which Beijing is ready to exploit.

At the up coming COP23 meet in Bonn, China is expected to unveil a planned national carbon trading scheme launch in 2018. The Chinese plan, which is expected to be modeled after the European Union's carbon marketplace, still has "problems" that need to be fixed before the "very complex" scheme can be launched nationwide, according to Chinese climate policy makers in Beijing. (Source: Xinhua, Financial Times, 31 Oct., 2017)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  Climate Change,  COP23,  Paris Climate Agreement,  


ConsenSys Launches CarbonX Personal Carbon Trading (Ind. Report)
ConsenSys
Date: 2017-09-27
NYC-based blockchain software technology specialist ConsenSys is reporting the launch of the world's first peer-to-peer personal carbon trading company, CarbonX.

CarbonX will purchase carbon credits and invest in carbon reduction projects. The offsets of these activities will then be transformed into ERC20 tokens on an Ethereum based blockchain and distributed through an open-loop style loyalty rewards programme.

Carbon X also plans to create their own CarbonX Tokens (CxTs) that will be offered by retailers, brands and businesses to incentivize people to make "carbon-friendly" decisions. CxTs can then be traded for carbon-friendly goods and services, other digital currencies or reward programme points on the CarbonX platform. (Source: ConsenSys, Bitcoin, The Block, 25 Sept., 2017) Contact: CarbonX, Joseph Lubin, info@carbonx.ca, www.carbonx.ca; ConseSys, Joseph Lubin www.consensys.net

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


Golden State Governor Pitching California-China Carbon Market Merge (Int'l)
California Cap-and-Trade
Date: 2017-06-05
After describing Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate accord as "Insane", California Governor Jerry Brown announced he would be holding meetings in Asia this week and would be discussing a possible merge of California's and China's carbon trading markets.

California has the largest carbon trading cap-and-trade system in the United States. China has has launched seven pilot regional trading schemes and plans to roll out a nationwide market later this year. (Source: Various Media, Reuters, 2 June, 2017) Contact: China National Development and Reform Commission, en.ndrc.gov.cn

More Low-Carbon Energy News Jerry Brown,  California Cap-and-Trade,  Carbon Market,  China Carbon Market,  

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