Use of market-based mechanisms are favored by economists and welcomed by industry as they reduce the costs of meeting emissions targets. The Kyoto Protocol created three distinct flexibility mechanisms to reduce the economic burden of target compliance—joint implementation, the Clean Development Mechanism, and international emissions trading. The advantages and limitations of these approaches, as well as the employment of a carbon tax, should be considered.
Market-based mechanisms are generally favored by economists and welcomed by industry, as they tend to reduce the costs to industry (or countries) of complying with targets. However, effective trading approaches require an overall cap on emissions. Analysts are discovering that the administrative difficulties of implementation and enforcement of capand-trade systems amongst countries are not trivial. The Financial Times recently exposed the weaknesses in the carbon offsets market with buyers paying either for reduction that do not take place or for reductions that would have taken place anyway. Partly for these reasons, some economists prefer the levying of taxes on activities that lead to the emissions of greenhouse gases.
Carbon taxes are easier to implement than cap-and-trade schemes, economically efficient, but politically difficult to legislate in some democratic regimes. A carbon tax would reduce carbon emissions and increase revenues. Substantial benefits could be gained from carbon taxes in all countries based on the “common but differentiated” principle. In addition to emissions reductions, they would generate resources for the development of clean energy sources as well as for the cost of adaptation in poor developing countries.
The CDM was created to support low-carbon investment in developing countries. It allows both the private sector and governments to invest in projects that reduce emissions (as compared to emissions that would occur in a baseline scenario) in developing countries, and provides one way to support links between different regional emissions trading schemes. However, it has encountered administrative and technical hurdles, and its future is clouded because of the uncertainty about the post-2012 regime. Appendix 3 summarizes other challenges that the CDM faces. Initial CDM projects have been limited to a few countries, and a few gases, and have been plagued by bureaucratic procedures, with little contribution to sustainable development.
Some analysts have suggested that these market-based mechanisms are good at identifying the cheapest mitigation opportunities amongst existing options, and spurring innovations that have immediate cost reductions, but are less helpful in spurring the development of new lowemission technologies.
Questions for GLCA:
-Should GLCA advocate or recommend a carbon tax, cap-and-trade system, or a combination of both?
-Should GLCA propose concrete steps for reforming the CDM?
Beijing smog makes city unliveable, says mayor
Guardian: Beijing?s mayor, Wang Anshun, has called the city ?unliveable? because of its noxious smog, according to state media.
?To establish a first-tier, international, liveable and harmonious city, it is very important to establish a system of standards, and Beijing is currently doing this,? he said last Friday, according to the China Youth Daily newspaper.
?At the present time, however, Beijing is not a liveable city.?
Anshun?s speech came days before the market research company Euromonitor International...
Scotland announces moratorium fracking for shale gas
Guardian: The Scottish government has announced a moratorium on all planning consents for unconventional oil and gas extraction, including fracking.
Welcomed by campaigners as ?a very big nail in the coffin for the unconventional gas and fracking industry in Scotland?, energy minister Fergus Ewing told the Scottish parliament on Wednesday afternoon that the moratorium would allow time for the government to launch a full public consultation on the controversial drilling technique, and to commission a full...
North Dakota: oil producers aim to cut radioactive waste bills
Reuters: North Dakota's oil industry is pushing to change the state's radioactive waste disposal laws as part of a broad effort to conserve cash as oil prices tumble.
The waste, which becomes slightly radioactive as part of the hydraulic fracturing process that churns up isotopes locked underground, must be trucked out of state. That's because rules prohibit North Dakota landfills from accepting anything but miniscule amounts of radiation.
The most common form of radioactive waste is a filter sock,...
United Kingdom: 10 things need to know about fracking
Independent: Fracking has barely been out of the news this week and every day brings further dissent to the controversial technique of breaking up shale rock from under our feet to release gas at high pressure with a cocktail of chemicals.
Public opposition and concerns about local impacts have meant there has been no fracking in Britain since a temporary ban was lifted in 2012. Today Scotland has announced a moratorium on fracking, while Lancashire Council - where proposals for fracking are at their most...
At Vatican, EPA Talk 'Moral Issue' Climate Change
ThinkProgress: Gina McCarthy, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, will make a short visit to the Vatican on Friday to discuss climate change. According to the National Catholic Reporter, McCarthy, an Irish Catholic from Massachusetts, will meet with senior officials including Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
"We?re hoping that this effort will not only generate sort of a broader understanding of the challenge of climate change, but a really good discussion...
Obama?s Atlantic drilling plan criticized by Democrats
Grist: A group of Senate Democrats from the Northeast is pushing back on the Obama administration`s proposal to open new areas of the Atlantic Ocean to oil and gas drilling.
New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker called the move "absolutely unacceptable" in a press conference Tuesday afternoon. Joining in the press conference were fellow Democrats Ed Markey (Mass.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), and Ben Cardin (Md.).
"If drilling is allowed off the East Coast of the United States, it puts our beaches, our...
A climate hawk separates energy thought experiments from road maps
New York Times: Dot Earth - New York Times blog energy A Climate Hawk Separates Energy Thought Experiments from Road Maps By Andrew C. Revkin January 27, 2015 5:24 pm January 27, 2015 5:24 pm Email Share Tweet Save More Photo Credit David Roberts, the progressive environmental blogger who coined the phrase ?climate hawk,? has done the environmental community a great service with a Grist post stressing the difference between a vision of a climate-safe energy future and a strategy for making...
Scottish fracking block announced
BBC: The Scottish government has announced a block on planned fracking operations, pending further inquiries.
Ministers will carry out new work on the environmental and health implications of the controversial gas drilling technique.
Full control over fracking is due to be devolved to Scotland after May's general election.
In the meantime, consent for unconventional oil and gas developments will be refused on planning grounds.
The announcement by Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing came...