Emissions Trading – good for business but bad for the environment

Europe’s Emissions Trading System has been around a few years. It has had many teething problems, including some shocking cases of fraud and governmental incompetence, and I have always argued against the ETS as being fundamentally flawed. Trying to us the same kind of devices to reduce emissions that brought banks and economies to their knees is simply foolish. Continue reading

Emissions: onwards and upwards and more of them

Every year, when some nation tries get some international consensus on the greenhouse gas emissions made by aviation. These emissions are usually discharged at high level, making them last longer in the upper atmosphere and pushing our global warming, like the aircraft, upwards and onwards. Continue reading

Australia Announces a new Tax on Carbon Dioxide Emissions

No one likes to pay tax and everyone can think of many reasons why any particular tax is bad. New taxes are particularly unpopular and take time to get used to. A new tax has to become acceptable for reasons that people can understand.

There is no clearer case for taxation that taxes that help prevent environmental damage or at least provide some compensation for the activities of those who damage the environment. Continue reading

Biochar Madness?

You might run across the term “biochar”. Inventing a word which is prefaced by “bio” give the word an impression of green, sustainable and environmentally friend, like biofuel and biomass, but these words have been hijacked to create an impression that does not accord with reality. Continue reading

Why do we know better?

Andrew Warren of the Association of the Conservation of Energy has written an interesting article comparing theUnited KingdomwithGermanywithin the context of climate change measures. Both nations are similarly sized with similar economies, Mr Warren points out with virtually identical climate change targets.

However as Mr Warren points out the United Kingdom is basing its energy policy on electricity consumption increasing and being serviced by renewable energy, whereas the German energy policy is based upon reducing waste in all energy consumption. Continue reading

How Green Was the Budget?

On Wednesday the British Finance Minister, who is rather grandly called the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced the budget for the coming financial year. I have never understood why it is called a budget because a principle of every budget it that it should balance. The economies of the world’s developed nations rarely have balanced budgets; it is all about borrowing and more borrowing. I always look at the budget measures from an environmental perspective, so how green is this budget? Continue reading

Closing down the carbon exchange

When I first learned about the proposal to use a system of carbon credits and carbon trading as the main means of defeating climate change I was sceptical. This concept, pushed by the United Kingdom, seemed to me, to use the very devices that brought banking and the economies of many nations to their knees. I wrote then that the system was bound to fail in its objectives to reduce emissions and argued that what we needed was more measures, as opposed to measures to encourage measures. I also expressed concerns that the system would be rife with fraud. Continue reading

Emission Trading – a tax on emission savings

The Government is talking about setting a minimum price for carbon (by which they mean carbon dioxide) for the trading that is done in carbon dioxide under the Emissions Trading Scheme. It is an admission of the utter failure of emissions trading as concept, as a tool to reduce emissions and as a genuine market. The explanation that I shall now give is complicated, and I am sorry for that. Continue reading

Reporting on Climate Change

Nicholas Stern wrote a report a few years ago. Everyone praised it, not because it contained any illuminating insights or great original thinking; environmentalists have been making the points that Mr Stern raised in his report years earlier when Mr Stern was in charge of dishing out money to environmentally damaging projects at the World Bank, but because it was a report made by a member of the establishment about climate change. He was suitably rewarded and hailed as a wise man. That is fine by me; anyone who puts climate change into the minds of the establishment has done well. Continue reading

Emissions Trading is not working

If there was ever any real indication of the failure of the use of market mechanism in an attempt to reduce carbon dioxide emissions it is the news that carbon emission brokers have been laid off in large numbers by their broking firms. The recession has cut the amount of emissions being created, rather than measures, and the artificiality of carbon markets has left, in these circumstances a surfeit of carbon saving instruments on the market with very few buyers. Continue reading