Connect with us

News

Carbon pricing can work and now is the time to expand it across the world, says New Climate Economy

Published

on

A new paper, ‘Implementing effective carbon pricing’, from the New Climate Economy shows that carbon pricing works and doesn’t harm the economy. It urges developed and emerging economies, with the G20 in the lead, to commit to introducing carbon prices of roughly comparable levels by 2020.

Examples of carbon pricing that have raised revenue without harming the economy include:

– The nine states in the United States’ Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) performed better than other US states economically, growing 0.4% more from 2009-2013, while reducing their emissions significantly. The RGGI itself has contributed a net US$1.3 billion to their states’ economies.

– Ireland’s carbon tax, introduced in 2010, raised much-needed revenues and avoided even harsher fiscal tightening measures during the global financial crisis.

– In its first five years, British Columbia’s carbon tax helped reduced emissions by 10%, while economic growth held up better than that of the rest of Canada.

“The time is right to introduce carbon prices around the world, as well as to pursue complementary measures like reform for fossil fuel subsidies, which act like negative carbon prices,” said Lord Nicholas Stern, Co-Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. “The world economy is undergoing a remarkable period of transition, and we need to act now to avoid locking ourselves into unsustainable development patterns.”

As a first step to expanding and strengthening carbon prices, the paper recommends the G20 should commit to establishing clear, credible and rising explicit carbon prices across their economies, at their summit in Turkey in November 2015. Governments should also prioritize the use of resulting revenues to offset impacts on low-income households. The exact approach can be developed under the Chinese G20 Presidency in 2016. Other countries can start by mandating monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of emissions for businesses and industry.

The paper highlights the growing support for carbon pricing around the world.

– Around 40 national jurisdictions and 20 cities, states and regions have adopted or are planning carbon prices. These cover 12% of global emissions, triple the coverage of a decade ago.

– Over 1,000 major companies and investors have endorsed carbon pricing, and 437 use an internal carbon price, up from 150 in 2014, with several hundred more planning internal carbon pricing in the next 2 years.

– China now has seven regional trading schemes and will implement a national cap and trade system from 2017.

“China’s announcement on its upcoming national cap-and-trade system shows real leadership and is the latest sign that momentum is growing fast for carbon pricing as governments realise they can reduce emissions and have growth too,” said Helen Mountford, program director of the New Climate Economy. “The rest of the world should follow China’s example and initiate carbon pricing or strengthen existing schemes in the next few years.”

The paper examines the latest evidence and finds that concerns over industrial competitiveness – the current excuse for keeping prices too low (less than US$10 per tonne of CO2) and limiting the effectiveness of carbon pricing – have not materialized in practice. International cooperation can also help overcome these concerns by levelling the playing field across countries.

“We now have the experience and momentum to coordinate the introduction of carbon pricing across G20 countries, and beyond. This will help to reduce competitiveness concerns and avoid second-best policy options such as border carbon adjustments,” said James Rydge, Lead Economist of the New Climate Economy and the author of the paper.

“The coming decades will involve major structural transformations and economies that embrace innovation and change will do better. Governments are realising that carbon pricing is central to structural reforms for managing economic change and the climate risks they will face. Cooperation can help to accelerate the introduction of effective carbon pricing.”

For more information go to www.newclimateeconomy.net

Energy

Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?

Published

on

sustainable wood burning ideas

Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?

Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.

Is Biofuel Green?

One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.

Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?

Homegrown Technology

Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.

Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.

Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.

Benefits Of Biomass

The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.

Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.

Continue Reading

Environment

New Climate Change Report Emphasizes Urgent Need for Airline Emission Regulations

Published

on

By

In less than two months, the United States has grappled with some of the worst natural disasters in its history. Hurricanes battered the south central United States. Fires destroyed homes throughout Northern California. Puerto Rico experienced some of the worst storms ever. A massive windstorm caused more damage to the northeastern United States then any other storm on record before winter even struck.

These recent incidents have spurred discussion on the dangers of climate change. A recent report from the University of London has shed some light on the discussion. The new report suggests that new regulations are needed, including stricter EPA regulations on Airlines.

Review of the new report

The new report was published in the British medical Journal, Lancet. The report concluded that climate change is a “threat multiplier” for a variety of social problems, including diseases and natural disasters. While numerous studies have processed the risk that climate change plays with creating natural disasters, University of London report is among the first to explore the relationship between climate change and disease.

The authors warned that the problems are becoming irreversible. They will continue to get worse if risk factors are not adequately addressed.

The most concerning part of the report is that these problems are having the most serious impact on the most vulnerable communities in the world. Countries that depend on agriculture and other issues will suffer the most if climate change escalates.

“The answer is, most of our indicators are headed in the wrong direction,”said Nick Watts, a fellow at University College London’s Institute for Global Health and executive director of the Lancet Countdown, one of the lead researchers of the paper. “Broadly, the world has not responded to climate change, and that lack of response has put lives at risk. … The impacts we’re experiencing today are already pretty bad. The things we’re talking about in the future are potentially catastrophic.”

Airline industry discovers climate change is a two-way Street

The airline industry is coping with the problems of climate change, while also coming to terms with the fact that it has helped accelerate the problem. Earlier this year, American Airlines was forced to cancel four dozen flights near Phoenix. Cancellations were called due to excessive temperatures. The air was over 120 degrees, which is too hot for some smaller jet planes to get off the ground.

One anonymous airline executive privately admitted that their business model has facilitated climate change. They warned that the problem may become twice as bad in the next few years if proper safeguards aren’t implemented. Representatives from Goindigo have echoed these concerns.

The EPA has stated that airplanes account for 11% of all emissions. They are expected to increase over 50% within the next 30 years. This could have serious repurcussions if newer, greener airplane models don’t become the new standard in the very near future.

This is driving discussion about the need for new policies.The EPA has been discussing the need for new airline regulations for nearly two years. An EPA ruling made in July 2016 set the tone for new regulations, which could be introduced in the next year.

The new policies may be delayed, due to the new president’s position on climate change. He hired an EPA chief that has sued the organization about a dozen times. However, the Trump Administration may not be able to oppose climate change indefinitely, because a growing number of people are pressing for reforms. Even younger conservatives primarily believe climate change is a threat and are demanding answers. This may force the EPA to follow through on its plans to introduce new solutions.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Trending