RE and EE Carbon Policy news 8 January 2015

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

EU Carbon Market Has First Volume Drop Amid Supply Cut

EU Carbon Market Has First Volume Drop Amid Supply Cut

Buying and selling of European Union carbon allowances on ICE Futures Europe declined for the first time last year after the bloc began withholding supply to reduce a surplus that’s built up since 2008.
Trading slipped 5.2 percent, according to data from the exchange compiled by Bloomberg. Benchmark prices rose 48 percent in 2014 and averaged 6.01 euros ($7.24) a metric ton.
Lawmakers took more than three years to install the first measure aimed at reducing the surplus, beginning last March to retain the equivalent of six months’ permit supply temporarily. They are now discussing a permanent remedy. Activity also slowed as banks exited trading of commodities including carbon, according to Andrei Marcu, head of the carbon-market forum at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels.

> READ FULL STORY HERE

California Carbon Dashboard

California Carbon Dashboard

AB32 relies on a number of important complementary policies to achieve the bulk of reductions to meet California’s statewide 427 MMTCO2e emissions goal for 2020. The Cap and Trade Program acts as a backstop to these complementary policies. This graphic shows greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 under business-as-usual conditions and under AB32 implementation, as well as the expected contributions of each complementary policy to AB32 reductions. Mouse over to see which policies apply to a given sector. Click on any policy for CARB’s most recent regulatory details.

> READ FULL STORY HERE

Larry Summers Calls For A Carbon Tax Now That Oil Prices Have Fallen

Larry Summers Calls For A Carbon Tax Now That Oil Prices Have Fallen

There’s rather a joy at being ahead of the crowd and when that following crowd is an economist and public policy maker of the calibre of Larry Summers it’s really very enjoyable indeed. And that’s the position I find myself in today as Larry Summers has come out and said that the recent fall in the oil price makes this a great time to institute a proper carbon tax. As I detailed it would be back here. There is, however, one point of disagreement here between Summers and myself. And yes, I’m bumptious enough to think that I’m still right, even though that following crowd is an economist and public policy maker of the calibre of Larry Summers.
Summers is here in the FT with his call:

> READ FULL STORY HERE

California Governor Seeks to Increase Renewable Energy Mandate to 50 Percent

California Governor Seeks to Increase Renewable Energy

Sacramento, Calif. — California Governor Jerry Brown proposed spending $59 billion to fix crumbling roads and raising the state’s renewable energy mandate to 50 percent.
Sworn in today for an unprecedented fourth term, the 76-year-old Democrat said he would proceed with a $68 billion California high-speed-rail line, on which he is expected break ground tomorrow.
“The financial promises we have already made must be confronted honestly so that they are properly funded,” Brown said. “The health of our state depends on it.”
Brown tomorrow will head to Fresno, 150 miles (250 kilometers) south of Sacramento, to break ground on the high- speed-rail line, which is intended to shuttle passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles at speeds up to 220 miles per hour. Republicans criticize the rail line as an expensive boondoggle. Land owners, farmers, and taxpayers groups have tried to block it through the courts.
‘Bold Commitments’

> READ FULL STORY HERE

ALL SIGNS POINT TO 2015 AS THE YEAR KATHLEEN WYNNE IMPOSES ‘CARBON PRICING’ ON ONTARIANS


ALL SIGNS POINT TO 2015 AS THE YEAR KATHLEEN WYNNE

TORONTO – Here’s my first prediction for 2015.
It’s the year Premier Kathleen Wynne will put a price on industrial carbon dioxide emissions in Ontario, either through a carbon tax or cap-and-trade, which is another name for a carbon tax.
A perfect storm of factors favours such a move.
First, Wynne needs the money, given that the Liberals’ reckless spending since taking power in 2003 has left the Ontario government mired in debt.
As Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk recently noted, even if Wynne fulfills her promise to balance the budget by 2017-2018, Ontario will at that point be $325 billion in debt — more than double what the Liberals inherited in 2003 — or $23,000 for every man, woman and child in the province.

> READ FULL STORY HERE

E.P.A. Wrestles With Role of Nuclear Plants in Carbon Emission Rules

E.P.A. Wrestles With Role of Nuclear Plants

WASHINGTON — Trying to write a complicated formula to cut carbon emissions, theEnvironmental Protection Agency thinks it has found a magic number: 5.8.
The agency is trying to complete a rule governing carbon emissions from power plants, and among the most complicated and contentious issues is how to treat existing nuclear power plants. Many of them are threatened with shutdowns because cheapnatural gas has made their reactors uncompetitive.
The agency’s proposal gave an odd mathematical formula for evaluating nuclear plants’ contribution to carbon emissions.

> READ FULL STORY HERE

UK Low Carbon Business Ambassador visit to Taiwan

UK Low Carbon Business

Professor Dame Julia King, UK Low Carbon Business Ambassador, visited Taiwan on 29 and 30 September to share the UK’s experience transitioning to a low carbon economy.
On 29 Sept, Professor Dame Julia King attended the 2014 International Green Energy and Finance Forum organised by the Bureau of Energy of Ministry of Economic Affairs. In this forum, she introduced the Green Investment Bank and the UK’s approach to develop a low carbon economy. She also shared how UK has developed towards a green financing economy through the panel discussion.
During her visit, Professor Dame Julia King meets Dr Kuo-yen Wei, Minister of Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) to share UK’s excellence in low carbon policy and development, as well as to follow up on Wei’s visit to the UK in early September.

> READ FULL STORY HERE

New data shows record fall in carbon emissions

New data shows record

Environment Minister Greg Hunt has quietly published data, just two days before Christmas, showing the second year of operation of Australia’s carbon price was more successful at reducing emissions than the first.
New data from Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory show emissions declined across Australia by 1.4 per cent over the 12 months to June.
That compares to a decline in emissions of 0.8 per cent for the previous 12 months.
The carbon price was introduced by the Gillard government and began operation on July 1, 2012. It ended on July 1, this year after the Abbott government fulfilled an election pledge by abolishing it.
The new data, published on Tuesday, record emissions produced during the final year of operation of the carbon price, from June 2013 to June 2014.

> READ FULL STORY HERE

Forest-cutting can have an immediate effect on climate, Nature report finds

Forest-cutting

The critical role that vast tropical forests like Brazil’s Amazon play in suppressing climate change is well-known: They store huge quantities of carbon, acting as “carbon sinks.”
But as a new report out this week argues, scientists are making the case that cutting down these forests does more than simply release carbon into the atmosphere – it has a direct and more immediate effect on the climate, from changes in rainfall patterns to rising temperatures. The amount of water that forests pump into the air is key to this. But scientists don’t agree on how that happens.
Complete deforestation of the Amazon would alter rainfall in the much of the United States, according to the report titled “Effects of Tropical Deforestation on Climate Change and Agriculture,” published Thursday in Nature Climate Change.
“Deforestation is about much more than carbon dioxide. Forests regulate the climate in many ways and storing CO2 is just one of them,” said its author, Deborah Lawrence, a professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia. “What this study shows is that there are additional, independent effects of deforestation on climate.”

> READ FULL STORY HERE

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