Compensation for global warming

With only two days left of the Cancun Climate Change Conference there seems to be little prospect of any binding regulations or treaty coming out of all the negotiations and discussions. Poorer nations, Norway suggested, should have $100 billion to deal with climate change from richer nations. Richer nations say that is too much and poorer nations say it is not enough. The negotiators must feel that they are about as useful as a sinking ship’s crew who spend their time re-arranging the deckchairs. Continue reading

Carbon trading – should we bother with an Emissions Trading Scheme?

The European Commission thinks that a global market for trading carbon should be part of a way to tackle climate change and is working to create a worldwide carbon trading market. Climate change is so serious that we should welcome anything that we help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but I have fears that global or indeed any market in carbon dioxide emissions will not help reduce emissions but will have the opposite effect. Continue reading

How carbon offsets are making us take our eye off the ball

Carbon offsets, like emission trading schemes, are sold as a way of reducing emissions. Small offsets can be purchased from commercial organisations (like banks and airlines) not known for their embrace of a low carbon green economy) or from businesses created especially to sell carbon offsets. However most offsets are operated by international companies under the various incentive and regulatory requirements of the various carbon trading schemes and the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism, which together provides not only a requirement to reduce greenhouse gas but incentives for businesses so to do.

The underlying thinking behind offsets is that it all right to emit carbon, provided that you offset it in another way. Continue reading

We are using failed strategies to fight climate change

Now that we are in the middle of a banking crisis the environment and climate change has been largely ignored while we ponder on whether the steps being taken around the world will prevent the world’s economy from falling into a long period of depression. Will the policies that we are using to fight climate change end up as unsuccessful as the financial policies have been? Continue reading

The Clean Development Mechanism and Emissions Trading or a Carbon Tax?

The great and the good of the world have decided that one of the best ways to combat excessive carbon dioxide emissions is by way of a “Clean Development Mechanism”.

In December 1997 at Kyoto in Japan the world’s nations agreed that nations that have fixed limits for their greenhouse gas emissions can assist other nations to implement projects that reduce emissions by “removals” (that is to say carrying out an activity that would normal create emissions in a way that reduces the emissions) or by “sinks” (that is to say sequestrating the emissions). Where one of these projects is implemented the country providing the assistance can count the units of saved emissions as part of their own. Continue reading

World Climate Change Conference – no contest! Shadow boxing at Bali

There will be a stand off at the world climate change conference in Bali – what will look like a fight will in fact end up as a charade.  Continue reading