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Four Demands for Paris

The call was very clear, here were “four demands” for Paris COP21 being presented to a group in London. But the surprise was the presenter; not a climate focussed NGO or an activist campaigning for change, but Fatih Birol, Chief Economist for the...

Posted June 23, 2015    

The Old Tax or Trade Chestnut

The recent letter on carbon pricing from six oil and gas industry CEOs to Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC and Laurent Fabius, Foreign Minister of France and President of COP 21 sent something of a tremor through the media...

Posted June 12, 2015    

Carbon Pricing and Climate Science in the Media

The past few weeks, highlighted by the Business & Climate Summit in Paris and Carbon Expo in Barcelona, has seen many CEOs, senior political figures and institutional leaders call for increased use of carbon pricing. This is certainly the right...

Posted June 8, 2015    

More Steps Towards Paris

At the end of last week (May 15th) Canada submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the UNFCCC, becoming the 37thstate to do so (including 28 countries within the EU). The three key points of the Canadian INDC submission...

Posted May 21, 2015    

From Sunlight to Jet A1

In a world of near zero anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide, there remains the problem of finding a fuel or energy carrier of sufficiently high energy density that it remains practical to fly a modern jet aeroplane. Commercial aviation is...

Posted May 12, 2015    

What to Make of Recent Emission Trends?

Recent news from the International Energy Agency (IEA) has shown that the rise in global CO2 emissions from the energy system stalled in 2014. This was unusual on two counts – first that it happened at all and second that it happened in a year...

Posted May 5, 2015    

Carbon Pricing: Accounting Isn't Enough

As the World Bank and others ramp up the discussion on carbon pricing, heads are turning towards Paris with thoughts on how the issue will be incorporated into the expected COP21 global climate deal. I have said many times in the past that unless a...

Posted April 20, 2015    

Baselines, Metrics and Business as Usual

The submission of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the UNFCCC started in earnest to meet the March 31st agreed date, although many more are still to come. Mexico was the only non-Annex I country (under the Convention) to...

Posted April 14, 2015    

How Should National Contributions be Measured?

The last days of March saw the start of submissions of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the UNFCCC. The United States, Switzerland, European Union, Mexico and Russia have all met the requested deadline of the end of Q1 2015....

Posted April 7, 2015    

Getting to Net-Zero Emissions

It is looking increasingly likely, but not a given, that a reference to global net-zero emissions or even a specific goal to achieve net-zero emissions by a certain date (e.g. end of the century) will appear in the climate deal that is expected to...

Posted March 16, 2015    

Business and Carbon Pricing

At the UN Climate Summit last September, the World Bank and others put the carbon pricing – or perhaps more correctly carbon valuation – discussion squarely back on the agenda, first with a Statement on Carbon Pricing signed by over 1000...

Posted March 2, 2015    

Preparing for Paris: Fifty Shades of Grey?

The tension was building throughout the week, but finally just before Valentine’s Day weekend the negotiators in Geneva completed the first draft of a Paris negotiating text and released it at the end of the eighth part of the second session of the...

Posted February 23, 2015