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Assessing the INDCs

It is now just 100 days until COP21 in Paris.The summer months have seen many Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) submitted to the UNFCCC prior to the assessment deadline of October 1st. This is the date when the UNFCCC secretariat...

Posted August 24, 2015    

Will the Clean Power Plan Deliver Effective Emission Reductions?

August 3rd saw the Obama Administration release its long awaited Clean Power Plan. The plan partly underpins the current US COP21 INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contribution) to reduce emissions by 26-28% by 2025 compared to 2005. It also...

Posted August 10, 2015    

The Cost of Contributions

The process of national governments submitting Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the UNFCCC is well underway, with a number of developing and least developed economies also submitting plans. Most recent amongst these is a...

Posted August 4, 2015    

Climate Change and Oil Companies: Who Knew What and When?

A recent article in the Guardian, which was also carried through a number of other media outlets, implied some prior knowledge within the oil and gas industry of climate change and the impact of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use long...

Posted July 20, 2015    

Climate in the Arctic: Signs of Change, but Not Always!

I have just returned from a personal vacation expedition to the European high Arctic, starting in Longyearbyen, Svalbard and ending in Iceland via the East Coast of Greenland. The trip was on the National Geographic Explorer, a 148-passenger...

Posted July 10, 2015    

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