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Entries in carbon pricing (24)

Saturday
Jun302012

Pricing Carbon Has Passed the Acid Test

I am quoted in today’s Sydney Morning Herald piece on the carbon pricing scheme.

Tomorrow, the nation steps over the threshold of carbon pricing into a domain where pumping out greenhouse gas has an economic price as well as an environmental one. The federal government’s Clean Energy Bill is a compromise with which no one is entirely happy. But the consensus of economists is that it is likely to work well enough to cut emissions by 5 per cent, the minimum supported by the major parties.

“If you assume the political will to implement the scheme is there, a huge ‘if’, then the question is whether the scheme is designed well enough to achieve its goals - I think it is,” says Martin Jones, a researcher at the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets and University of NSW. “The mechanism is an effective one: emissions trading schemes have proven records of reducing emissions.”

 

Friday
May112012

Surrendering to the Idea of a Price Floor

From July 2015, the Australian federal government will set the price of the permits in its emissions trading scheme free – within limits. The government intends to introduce a price floor and price ceiling until at least 2017/18.

This is good news for emission reduction activities whose viability depends on prices several years hence, such as larger, more complex projects. Further, the goal of abatement at least-cost should be balanced against the goal of abating as rapidly as possible; should reaching current targets be cheaper than expected, a floor price can ensure a minimum level of spending on abatement.

Last December, the government released a discussion paper and called for submission on the price floor, which combines a reserve price for Australian carbon units at auction with an ‘international unit surrender charge’ that ensures international carbon credits cost at least as much as domestic units. Four options are being considered for the international unit surrender charge.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr052012

New South Wales Bins Carbon Trading Scheme

Updated on Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 13:50 by Registered CommenterMCJ

Updated on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 18:58 by Registered CommenterMCJ

I am quoted in today’s Point Carbon article on NSW’s announcement that GGAS is ending. (Readable with a free trial.)

Australian state New South Wales will abandon its Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme (GGAS) on July 1, when the federal government introduces a tax on CO2 emissions, state Energy Minister Chris Hartcher announced Thursday.

The baseline-and-credit scheme has operated since 2003, targeting emission cuts primarily in the state electricity sector, but also in industry and forestry.

 The phase-out was expected, but leaves market participants with 16 million surplus credits that will be ineligible for use in the nationwide scheme.

 This spurred Minister Hartcher to demand in local media Thursday that the federal government compensate the credit holders.

 However, market observers dismissed Hartcher’s claims.

 “It’s been clear from the outset of GGAS to all participants and government that GGAS would finish when a national carbon pricing scheme started,” said Martin Jones, a researcher at the University of New South Wales.

 “The problem of excess supply and an upcoming end date have been on the radar for at least half a decade, and insufficient efforts to address it have little to do with the federal government,” he told Point Carbon News.

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Thursday
Mar292012

State Climate Schemes Are Still Worthwhile under a Carbon Price

In justifying their recent abandonment of state-based climate schemes, the governments of Queensland and Victoria have both claimed that the schemes will be redundant under the federal emissions trading scheme (ETS) that begins in July. Yet this justification is only a smokescreen, as a carbon price can well exist with other environmental and climate schemes.

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Tuesday
Nov222011

Pulling Carbon Offset Figures Out of the Air

Measuring just the running costs isn’t the best way of accounting for the environmental effects of air travel. Taken in combination with the vast difference between the apparent abatement costs for our airlines and the cost of carbon internationally, I’m highly sceptical of the efficacy of the carbon offsets our airlines offer.

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Tuesday
Nov082011

Australian Carbon Price Legislation Passed

The Senate has just passed the primary piece of legislation for the carbon pricing mechanism.

Well done, Australia :-)

Thursday
Nov032011

IETA GHG Market Report 2011

The 2011 report on the state of greenhouse gas markets by the International Emissions Trading Association begins with a chapter on Australia, of which I am the lead author.

The report is available online.

Thursday
Sep292011

Details of the Clean Energy Future Package

The Clean Energy Future legislation is lengthy and boring, but it’s important: these 18 bills (and a few more to come in the first half of next year) lay the framework for what will be the primary driver of Australia’s attempt to mitigate dangerous anthropogenic climate change – assuming they pass, of course. This post is a summary of some of the CEF’s nitty-gritty details.

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Sunday
Aug072011

What Are the Visions of Australia’s Future Reflected in Our Parties’ Policies?

When the Government released its climate change package on July 10, it was under the moniker of a “Clean Energy Future”. This is, ostensibly, a fairly clear vision for where Labor sees Australia in 2050 and beyond. However, the package is a mish-mash of measures that don’t deliver clear policy signals to achieve this clean energy future. While this is partially a result of the multi-party committee that spawned the package, the rhetoric the Government employs is ambiguous as to precisely what sort of society they see Australia moving toward.

So where are we really going with all this? If the world follows the suggestions of science and reduces CO2-e emissions to constrain dangerous climate change, what place is this future do our parties foresee?

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Tuesday
Jul052011

Carbon Pricing: The Big Picture

Updated on Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 18:58 by Registered CommenterMCJ

Updated on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 10:25 by Registered CommenterMCJ

To stabilise the concentration of CO2-e in the atmosphere at levels that would limit the chance of 2°C warming to 75% or less, the world must emit less than 3 tCO2-e per person per year; less than 2 tCO2-e to stop concentrations rising altogether. No-one is pretending that a domestic carbon price of $20-$30 per tonne will reduce Australian emissions from 25 tCO2-e pa to anywhere near two or three tonnes per year.

A balance must be struck between the need to decarbonise the Australian economy and the transitional difficulties that this will bring. Government policy, with the MPCCC’s scheme as its centrepiece, will – and should – be scrutinised on how disruptive the transition will be. But this disruption must be assessed in the long-term context of decreasing our CO2-e production, or else it’s merely politics, not policy.

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