Category Archives: Carbon policy resources

RE and EE Carbon Policy news 16 February 2015

Weekly RE and EE Carbon Policy news update from the web.

C2ES study identifies lessons from carbon pricing for business and policy

C2ES study identifies lessons from carbon pricing
A new C2ES report highlights lessons useful for companies and policymakers as more states and countries consider carbon pricing to spur innovative technologies and cut emissions at the lowest possible cost.
The report, written for the World Bank’s Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR), examines how three companies — Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Rio Tinto, and Royal Dutch Shell — prepared for carbon pricing programs.
The PMR shares this type of information with developing countries to help them create their own market-based policies. We were pleased to partner with the PMR to explore how a few of the companies in our Business Environmental Leadership Council prepared for carbon pricing and we thank the companies for sharing their expertise.


The new European energy efficiency facility is here: financing sustainable energy at the local and regional level!

The European Energy Efficiency Facility (EEE – F) of the European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR) is a new financial facility dedicated to sustainable energy.
Why is a European Energy Efficiency facility being set up?
The Council of Ministers and the European Parliament agreed in December 2010 to a European Commission proposal, made the same year in May, to allocate approximately EUR 146 million from the European Energy Programme for Recovery (i.e. 3.7% of the total EEPR envelope) towards a new financial facility dedicated to sustainable energy. The EU contribution comes from funds mobilised for the EEPR in 2009 which could not immediately be allocated to projects in the sectors of infrastructure, off-shore wind and carbon capture and storage (CCS).
What structure will the new financial facility have?
The new facility will take the form of an investment fund complemented by technical assistance (TA) and awareness raising. The EU will contribute about EUR 146 million to the facility, of which about EUR 125 million to the fund and about EUR 20 million to TA.


Energy efficiency industry needs to talk securitization

Energy efficiency industry needs to talk
What do leaders in the banking industry think about the potential of privately financing solar power, wind energy and energy efficiency? In this interview with Clean Energy Finance Forum, Michael Eckhart, managing director and global head of finance and sustainability at Citigroup, shares his optimism about the transition to clean energy and his observations about the persistent obstacles in the market — including the need to scale up financing for energy efficiency.
Citigroup has participated in public-private efforts helping to catalyze advancement in this arena. Eckhart describes progress in the context of a 100-year transition toward a clean energy economy. Developments in standardization and securitization hold tremendous potential for moving the industry forward.
Clean Energy Finance Forum: Do you believe the private sector is underinvesting in clean energy and energy efficiency? If so, why?
Eckhart: No, not underinvesting. The private sector invests in those projects that meet the criteria for financing.


How Efficient Is Energy Efficiency? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

How Efficient Is Energy Efficiency
Arik Levinson is an environmental economist at Georgetown who spent some time as a senior economist for environmental issues with the Council of Economic Advisors (C.E.A.) under President Obama.
“One of my jobs,” he says, “was helping the White House evaluate the environmental policies coming out of the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency. And I quickly realized that most of the policies that I was seeing involved energy efficiency.”
So Levinson wanted to know: how efficient is all this energy efficiency? That’s the topic of our latest podcast. (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.)
We discuss Levinson’s new working paper “How Much Energy Do Building Energy Codes Really Save? Evidence From California” (and a related Journal of Economic Behavior& Organization paper, called “California Energy Efficiency: Lessons for the Rest of the World, or Not?).


EU energy consumption level falls to 20-year low

EU energy consumption level falls
Energy consumption in the European Union has fallen to levels last seen more than two decades ago, statistics published on Monday showed.
The dramatic drop in annual consumption – in 2013, the year to which the new research applies, it was down by more than 9% from its 2006 peak – reflects in part the continuing economic troubles in the eurozone, but also efforts taken by member states and businesses to cut energy use and improve efficiency.
Despite the plunge, Europe remains heavily dependent on fuel imports, with more than half of energy needs supplied by production from abroad, including the Middle East and Norway.


EU Energy Briefing: Special on the Energy Union [VIDEO]

EU Energy Briefing Special on the Energy Union VIDEO 1
In this Brussels Briefing on Energy for viEUws – the EU Policy Broadcaster, leading journalist Hughes Belin provides an overview ofprogress made on the EU’s Energy Union project, ahead of the formal launch of the Energy Union by the European Commission on 25 February.
Climate and Energy Commissioner Cañete already revealed a series of actions to materialise the Energy Union:
• 10-point plan for energy security that includes: regulation on security of electricity supply, plans for a common gas purchasing platform, a new Liquefied Natural Gas strategy, progress on a Mediterranean gas hub & the Southern Gas Corridor
• Implementing the internal energy market


Biomass in a carbon-negative power system

Biomass in a carbon
Deployment of bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration would help western North America achieve a carbon-negative power system by 2050.


Geneva talks: countries agree draft text for deal to fight climate change

Geneva talks countries agree draft text for deal
Almost 200 countries agreed a draft text for a deal to fight climate change on Friday, but put off hard choices about narrowing down a vast range of options for limiting a damaging rise in temperatures.
Government delegates adopted the 86-page draft as the basis for negotiations on the deal due to be agreed later this year.
But the document includes radically varying proposals for slowing climate change – one foresees a phase-out of net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, for instance, while another seeks a peak of emissions “as soon as possible”.


Shell chief calls for fossil fuel industry to join climate debate

Shell chief calls for fossil fuel industry
The chief executive of Shell addressed the oil industry on Thursday to highlight the role of fossil fuels in the transition to a low carbon economy and attacked some critics for peddling impractical solutions to climate change.
Ben van Beurden (pictured right) told delegates at the International Petroleum Week that energy companies should not “keep a low profile” in the debate on how to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but should accept the challenges being posed to the industry by international carbon reduction targets.
vanBeurden said: “Our industry should be less aloof, more assertive. We have to make sure that our voice is heard by members of government, by civil society and the general public.”


A low-carbon society: global visions, pathways, and challenges

A low carbon society global visions, pathways and challenges
The feasibility of two low-carbon society (LCS) scenarios, one with and one without nuclear power and carbon capture and storage (CCS), is evaluated using the AIM/Enduse[Global] model. Both scenarios suggest that achieving a 50% emissions reduction target (relative to 1990 levels) by 2050 is technically feasible if locally suited technologies are introduced and the relevant policies, including necessary financial transfers, are appropriately implemented. In the scenario that includes nuclear and CCS options, it will be vital to consider the risks and acceptance of these technologies. In the scenario without these technologies, the challenge will be how to reduce energy service demand. In both scenarios, the estimated investment costs will be higher in non-Annex I countries than in Annex I countries. Finally, the enhancement of capacity building to support the deployment of locally suited technologies will be central to achieving an LCS.


What role for carbon markets in the 2015 climate agreement?

What role for carbon markets in the 2015
Around the world governments are increasingly pursuing market-based approaches to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. South Korea’s emissions trading scheme entered force at the start of this year and is currently the world’s second largest carbon market. Many other carbon pricing policies are either in force or in the planning stages, including in emerging markets such as Brazil, China, and Mexico as illustrated in Figure 1.
Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are due to meet in Paris, France later this year to finalise a new global climate agreement to replace the current Kyoto Protocol and the Copenhagen Accords when these expire at the end of this decade.


RE and EE Carbon Policy news 26 January 2015

Weekly RE and EE Carbon Policy news update from the web.

New efficiency standards for residential water heaters are on the horizon

New efficiency standards for residential water heaters
In less than two years, new water heater energy efficiency standards will be in effect, starting in April 2015. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu announced in April of 2010 that the Department had finalized higher energy efficiency standards for a key group of heating appliances that will together save consumers up to $10 billion and prevent the release of up to 164 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over 30 years. These new standards — for residential water heaters, pool heaters and direct heating equipment such as gas fireplaces — will reduce air pollution, prevent the release of harmful nitrogen oxides and mercury, and avoid emissions equivalent to taking 46 million cars off the road for one year, the DOE said.
Residential water heating products affected by the new 2015 Energy Conservation Standards include gas-fired, oil-fired, electric, tabletop, instantaneous gas-fired and instantaneous electric. See the chart below for new energy factor requirements for all these products.


Businesses’ energy efficiency upgrades ‘invisible’

Businesses energy efficiency upgrades

That’s the view of Tim Rotheray, Director of the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE), whose new report highlights improved energy efficiency has helped the UK avoid building 14 new power stations.
It found demand side investments such as onsite generation and efficiency have saved British consumers £37.2 billion on their energy bills every year.
Carbon emissions have also reduced, equivalent to one-third of the emissions absorbed by the Amazon rainforest annually.
Referring to the report titled ‘Invisible Energy’, Mr Rotheray told ELN: “When you tell someone, this hospital here or that building there, they’ve done X or Y in terms of reducing their energy demand, no one knows about it.
“The economy has grown and energy use has stayed broadly flat and most of that is due to activity in the decentralised energy space, in the demand side.”


The Ecosystem Marketplace’s Forest Carbon News

The Ecosystem Marketplace’s Forest

For those of us who stocked our cabinets with canned food and pored over Y2K personal survival guides in 1999, it’s hard to believe we made it this far. But here we are a whole 15 years into the new millennium and our computer clocks are still ticking, even as the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration continues to rise. Gone are the days when climate projections for the year 2020 seemed far away. We’re already back to the future and we don’t have much more time – or atmosphere – to spare.

Will 2015 be THE year when countries come to an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? How will forests and land use be incorporated in this vision? What role will the private sector play?

For this New Year’s edition of Forest Carbon News, we asked market experts to look into their crystal balls and answer the following question:

What are your predictions for the forest carbon markets in 2015? What policy, science, economic, and other developments could impact the market?


Market waits on SB32 to outline post-2020 directions

Market waits on SB32 to outline post

California’s lawmakers will during this session discuss Senate Bill 32 (SB32), first proposed in December by Senator Fran Pavley, which would confer authority upon the Air Resources Board (ARB) to mandate greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions through 2050, and require ARB to approve a 2050 statewide emissions target equivalent to an 80% reduction below the 1990 level.
The bill, which is quite basic in its current form, is expected to undergo changes in its structure as it will have to pass two committees and both the Senate and Assembly, before landing on the Governor’s desk for final approval.
“Pavley is an important author and this is an important bill. When this bill reaches the committee it will trigger a big discussion on California’s long-term emissions policy, and how the bill fares will be signal for what the California legislators are looking for,” remarked Jon Costantino, Senior Advisor at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, “The Governor would like to see such a bill, in one form or another, passed by the Californian Legislature, but it remains to be seen how the other members in the Senate and the Assembly take positions on this. I expect we will find that out most probably towards the latter end of the year.”


Reducing Carbon Pollution and Transitioning to Clean Energy

Reducing Carbon Pollution and Transitioning

Gov. Inslee’s 2015 climate legislation will help Washington continue its transition toward energy independence, reduce carbon pollution and meet our statutory greenhouse gas limits. The proposals support Gov. Inslee’s Executive Order 14-04 issued in 2014.


Top 10 Carbon Market Predictions for 2015 from The Climate Trust

Top 10 Carbon Market Predictions for 2015

The Climate Trust, a mission-driven nonprofit that specializes in climate solutions, with a reduction of 1.9 million tons of greenhouse gases to its name, announced its second annual prediction list of 10 carbon market trends to watch in 2015.

The trends, which range from increased climate change adaptation measures at the state and city-level to new protocols for agriculture and forestry, were identified by The Climate Trust based on interactions with their diverse group of working partners—government, utilities, project developers and large businesses.

“We’re excited to once again look at the overall market with fresh eyes and identify areas of potential movement and growth,” said Dick Kempka, vice president of business development for The Climate Trust.


EPA to Issue Carbon Rules by Summer

EPA to Issue Carbon Rules by Summer

Three of the most sweeping federal regulations of power plant carbon emissions in U.S. history will be finalized all at once this summer, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday – an attempt, some experts say, to fend off legal challenges to the controversial climate change measures.
Separate emissions standards for new, modified and existing power plants will be completed “by mid-summer 2015,” Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, said in a call with reporters. They are the first ever that would rein in carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and together form a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s second-term efforts to address climate change.


What falling oil prices may mean for the future of renewable energy investment

What falling oil prices may mean for the future of renewable energy investment

Oil prices have plummeted in recent months, with the price of oil today hitting its lowest point for five years. That’s led to lots of speculation about the impact of falling oil prices on the world’s efforts to cut emissions by decarbonising the energy sector.
There’s little consensus. Some analysts argue that the falling oil price could end the world’s slow march towards zero carbon energy. Others say renewables are established enough to see out the storm.
There are good reasons for such uncertainty. The renewable energy industry’s fate rests on a number of factors that are very hard to predict.
We take you through the key elements of what’s likely to continue to be a major story in coming months.


RE and EE Carbon Policy news 7 January 2015

“2015 is shaping up to be a big year in carbon policy with the November conference in Paris aiming to achieve a legally binding agreement on climate encompassing all nations.

So I am pleased to now introduce the first of our weekly carbon policy news updates, focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency. These updates will bring you news on:

–          Announcements from individual countries or trading blocks (eg the EU) about new policies

–          Evaluations of existing policies (have they worked well or not)

–          Announcements from the UN bodies about policies.

Lets hope that 2015 is a year where carbon policy becomes more effective at reducing carbon emissions.

Bruce Rowse”


Carbon policy guides USA, China energy efficiency

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has recently released guides on building and industrial energy efficiency policies in the USA. This follows up from a guide on building energy efficiency policy in China.

These guides can be accessed at: