Port Talbot, Tata and the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme

Closing steelworks is a bit like closing coal mines. Steelworks are dangerous places where a special breed of person works in conditions that are physically dangerous and dangerous to health. Some die in work. However, like coal mines, the works form the rationale for a large community and when the works close the rationale for the community ends and towns and villages end up out of work and very depressed. You then have the irony of folk fighting to have the ability to work in unhealthy dangerous conditions, because that is all the work there is likely to be. Continue reading

Flying into an Environmental Crisis

Greenhouse gas emissions from air traffic are entirely uncontrolled. Aircraft emit greenhouse gas at a high level in the atmosphere and it is believed that these emissions are particularly damaging. Aircraft fuel is entirely untaxed, so there is a limit on making the polluter pay. Air Passenger duty is becoming increasing used as a means of taxing civil aviation flights, but it is a crude measure the proceeds of which go to the general fund of tax collected rather than to any anti greenhouse gas measures. Continue reading

Emissions Trading – a triumph of hope over reality

The European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme was doomed from the start. I have always held that you cannot use the devices of the casino to reduce emissions. You can tax emissions, making them more costly to produce and creating an incentive to encourage ways of using clean renewable emissions, but to set up a system where emission producers can speculate on the price of carbon dioxide, which is a commodity that no one wants and no one can use, as a way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, will make no difference to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are produced. Continue reading

Emissions savings and Energy savings: time to stop talking about it and start doing it

I have for many years criticised the government for talking about the environment and reducing greenhouse gases, but failing to do much more than talk or set up talking shops and advice centres. In fact the talk has become boring to the majority of those who live in the United Kingdom. Talking about a problem does not solve the problem if there are solutions to the problem staring you in the face. I do not suggest that all the solutions for controlling greenhouse gases now exist, but those that can help now, without innovation and speculation. They key features of emission savings of the last government were:- 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

The Emissions Trading Scheme – a conduit for fraud

One of the disadvantages of the emissions Trading Scheme launched by the European Union (and it is only one of the many disadvantages), is that the provisions of the Scheme has made Value Added tax fraud rather easy. The authorities have tried to clamp down of Value Added tax fraud but it has not been easy. Although the rules of the ETS are the same across the whole of the European Union each member state has different VAT rates and different tax rules, and it is these differences that fraudsters have been exploiting. Continue reading

The designer of Emissions Trading now thinks it over rated

I have been a consistent critic of the various emission trading schemes that various governments have been promulgating. I did not think that bringing the casino ethos to climate change would help reverse global warming, and feared that the way in which the United Kingdom government in particular tended to divert all their energies into emissions trading as opposed to real measures will actually set back the time when we would be able to reduce emissions, rather than bring it forward. After a few years of emissions trading I cannot think of any significant reduction in emissions that the trading has achieved that could not have been bettered by direct investment in measures. 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

Europe plans to save emissions

The European Parliament has voted in favour of the plan for greenhouse gas emission control policies proposed recently by the European Ministers. It has been hailed by those Ministers as “historic” and it probably is historic, but that does not mean that it is sufficient. The plan was initially promulgated in the first month of 2008 and has been accepted by the Parliament in the last month of 2008; now all that remains is to translate the plan into specific policies measures and law. Continue reading

The latest carbon emission savings device – the Carbon Reduction Commitment

 The 2007 Energy White Paper proposed a Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme which fills some of the very large gaps in the Emissions Trading Scheme but continues the ETS policy of “cap and trade” as a way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The Carbon Reduction Commitment (which I shall now call CRC) aims to reduce emissions by 1.2 million tonnes of carbon (or do they mean carbon dioxide) by 2020. I always think it hard to “cap and trade” in an item like carbon dioxide that has no commercial value; it is all rather artificial and involves a long lead in time before those aimed at have to undertake carbon reduction measures. Continue reading