May 18, 2009 | 2
Negotiations on a new global treaty to combat climate change continue to heat up, even though a meeting in Copenhagen that is meant to forge a final deal remains months away.
Representatives from the world's nations—ranging from Todd Stern of the U.S. to Kevin Conrad of Papua New Guinea—only manage to get together a few times a year, which means there are just a few weeks of negotiations left before a deal is supposed to be reached. But they’re making some progress.
Much of the framework for a new climate agreement, meant to replace the Kyoto Protocol when it expires in 2012, has already been written. The United Nations organization in charge of all this has just released draft text (pdf) and proposed changes to this working document, which you can check out here.
Oct 3, 2008 | 2
Last night's debate between vice presidential candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin showcased their differences on energy policy and climate change, and also reminded us of some intra-ticket differences on those key scientific issues.
Palin, the Republican governor of Alaska, reiterated that she does not believe that global warming was solely caused by humans, a softer stance than that of running mate John McCain as well as that of the International Panel on Climate Change, which determined that it is "very likely" man-made. As Palin told Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News earlier in the week, climate change is a problem, but people are not the only culprits.
"I'm not one to attribute every man — activity of man -- to the changes in the climate. There is something to be said also for man's activities, but also for the cyclical temperature changes on our planet," she said last night. "But there are real changes going on in our climate. And I don't want to argue about the causes. What I want to argue about is, how are we going to get there to positively affect the impacts?"
Sep 29, 2008 | 1
The results of the first auction of global warming pollution in U.S. history are in: power plant owners are willing to pay just over $3 for every ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) they emit. More than 12 million allowances were sold for $3.07 last Thursday, bringing in $38 million for the renewable energy and energy efficiency programs of the six Northeastern states involved.
A second auction on December 17 will bring all 10 states into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (affectionately known as RGGI or "Reggie.") But already the 59 bidders in the auction—primarily energy companies but also financial speculators and environmentalists—were willing to buy four times more allowances than were actually on offer; bids came in for a total of 51,761,000 of allowances all told. (An allowance is a permit from the various state governments to emit one ton of carbon dioxide from a power plant.)
Sep 22, 2008 | 2
Why bid on a Picasso when you could buy a carbon credit instead?
A coalition of 10 Northeastern states will hold a carbon auction Thursday, the country's first in a mandatory cap-and-trade program designed to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Power generators have been ordered by the 10 states who agreed to the regional program to limit their collective carbon dioxide emissions to the current level of 188 million tons (171 million metric tons) beginning next year, then reduce them by another 10 percent by 2018 in an attempt to reduce climate-change causing emissions.
Under the cap-and-trade program, the participating states will hold a quarterly auction, during which power companies buy, sell and trade their emissions allowances. Both presidential candidates back cap and trade, which has been in effect in the European Union since 2005 and is modeled after a similar emissions trading scheme for the pollutants behind smog and acid rain.
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