The trust envelope – a view

Warning: There’s been changes to the wording of different parts of the contract. Sound familiar, whether is it a Chemist, a Bank, Telco, or any transaction you may have experienced it before. The reality is you not asking hard questions means you have lost something. Let us quote Dr Sandy Donald responding to concessions given by the Queensland Health Minister reported on 15 April 2014: “There were a lot of areas that gave the doctors almost no power to influence decisions and also a lot of areas we felt were open to misinterpretation.” What is the point you say?

The point is it is modus operandi for most dealings today to exploit trust. A Prime Minister might say ‘I am confident’ rather than ‘I confirm’. However, we might expect the weasel word language from that profession. But what happens when a Chemist says: Will you accept a cheaper brand? Think about that question: Did the Chemist say I would pass on a price advantage to you? Well in all likelihood no, the contract is I will give you a cheaper brand, it makes no guarantee you will pay less. You need to ask that question: Will I pay less if I take a cheaper brand? You may find the answer is no!

Without a Bank example we are low end of the Scale, A major telco has used very similar language and supplementary information in a very similar way too. Namely, you received an offer to upgrade. On the surface you are much better off for a reasonable rise in administration fees. You receive a supplementary advice, including: ‘With approval bank, will transfer any promotional rates to the new account’. Feeling good, hey! The welcome pack arrives and the Letter of Offer contains the words: Acceptance will transfer the promotional rate for x period at xx%. Then in the second sentence it says: Upon Expiry, the rate will revert xxxx balance xxxx. Look carefully at this phrasing and supplementary information, as it is as the Dr in the opening part of this post said ‘open to misinterpretation’. Learn to ask the hard question: Did you or will you transfer the promotion rate to the updated card? Most likely answer is no. You might also be taken back to hear ‘If you did not ask the question we had no obligation to tell you’. It follows that once you accepted you have no power to influence the decision to expire the offer.

CO2Land org can hear you say, but we have rights. Not anymore, unless you ask the questions. Em, trust – that may be an error.

 

 

RET designs – Abbotititis or Rudasinus.

Do you have Abbotititis or Rudasinus. Bored with the election being in your face yet not meaning a thing.  Then there is ‘real’ again – It just means it will be reviewed and in the mean time your asset is at risk of being stranded because of the ‘Election’. You are told any decisions will need to be taken with a view of caretaker convention and then we will wait until the ‘dust settles’ and the view of the incoming Government is known.  Can you understand the frustration? Promises are being made yet we are told they are real until after the election!

Now lets look at the promised policy positions:

The Coalition talks of ‘real’ abatement in terms of energy efficiency. The flagstone is the Direct Action Plan. This plan will or may impact your business. We say this because the White Paper consultative process that the Coalition will initiate will only be known should they win office. Yes the ‘real’ is it will be a consultative process expressed as the opportunity for your business to provide input into the design of this ‘potential’ new policy framework. In more simple terms it means the details are not yet developed. However, the Renewable Energy Target (RET) has a commitment from the Coalition to retain a 5% to 25% reduction of emissions by 2020 compared with 2000 levels, but will review this commitment in 2015 (then other statements say 2014). That said they intend to wind back many of the provisions of the Clean Energy Future Plan including abolishing the carbon price and disbanding the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Climate Change Authority, the Climate Commission and the Energy Security Fund. Then we should note the Coalition intends to expand the existing Emissions Reduction Fund to introduce a buyback, and also plans to expand the Carbon Farming Initiative to achieve emissions reductions in the absence of an explicit carbon price – but the reductions must be ‘real’ against baselines ‘to be advised’.

It is most likely the Coalition’s plans to meet emissions commitments will be more disruptive to electricity supply industries and their downstream industries than labor’s.

Labor (why is it called Labor?) – Reported is among other things, this name makes it easier to distinguish references to the Party from the labour movement in general. Source(s): http://www.alp.org.au/australian-labor/l…

Maybe that is ‘unreal’!

 

Labor has two major policies for abatement changes. Continuing of the Clean Energy Future Plan, and the review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET).  The current RET compels large energy users to invest in renewable energy. This is to the benefit of industries such as wind and, up to an including hydro-electricity. The RET purpose is to introduce more capacity into electricity markets and push down wholesale electricity prices. Therefore the RET is challenging for fossil fuel electricity generators, and the changes will affect them directly and the upstream industries, including oil and gas extraction, brown coal mining and black coal mining, indirectly.

 

That said, Labor is committed to a 5% to 25% reduction of emissions by 2020 compared with 2000 levels, and an 80% reduction on 2000 levels by 2050. Labor has also taken the position and made an announcement of an early transition from the carbon tax to an emissions trading scheme in July 2014, bringing it forward from the previous announcement of 2015. Under the scheme the carbon dioxide equivalent would have a floating price linked to the prices of the EU’s emissions trading scheme. Under this policy, the price per tonne for carbon dioxide is likely to be discounted. The impact uncertainty is what will be the effect on the industry assistance packages included within the Clean Energy Future Plan.

Co2Land org said Labor supports the current 20% RET. This still holds true, as the responsible Department (name too long to mention) and advised work on the review of RET is suspended until further notice, and Labor has made a commitment to not review the target until 2016.

Labor’s changes to the Clean Energy Future Plan will create new winners and losers across energy-intensive industries. Labor’s changes maintain a pricing mechanism as a strategy to reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.

 

Co2Land org has noted IBISWorld’s August 2013 Report has a more detailed outline of the positions taken by the Labor and Coalition parties on major issues impacting Australian industry including workplace reform, energy, resources, broadband network, transport infrastructure, manufacturing and education. They write:

“The 2013 Federal Government election will be dominated by concerns about the economy. The end of the mining investment boom and the continued decline of the manufacturing sector have set a pessimistic tone among Australian businesses.

The Labor Government has taken a ‘glass half full’ approach, pointing out Australia’s strong economic position relative to other advanced economies and successful economic guidance during the global financial crisis.

In contrast, the Coalition points out a widening Federal Budget deficit, a declining economic growth rate, low business confidence and a weak economic performance relative to neighbouring countries.

The winner of the election will have to balance the government’s role to provide fiscal stimulus and counter-cyclical spending with budget responsibility and a plan to reduce government debt.

The Productivity Commission has estimated that there are $12 billion worth of cost-cutting and efficiency savings available to the Federal Government.

The Coalition has backed away from providing a date for a return to surplus, but asserts it will be sooner than a Labor surplus.

Labor forecasts a return to budget surplus in 2016-17, driven by savings made during 2015-16 and 2016-17 when the economy is expected to be in a healthier state than it is presently.”

 

Wait a minute, recently the coalition did say they aim to save $31B – now we are confused – will the ‘real’ number please stand?

Please note: No Green was hurt in this discussion.

The irony of flooding rain and a sunburnt country

The irony of flooding rain and a sunburnt country. Most recently, floods hurt the Australian eastern states, and a matter of weeks before by devastating fires. This is focusing on the thought – Maybe climate change is closer than we think.

The ABC reporter Tracy Hutchison, on Monday 4 February 2013, made a comparison of Australia facing another summer of floods, and that we are not alone. She centred her story on how Indonesia’s capital grappled with a watery chaos and Beijing being brought to a choking halt by smog. Her point being “Australia’s recent re-acquaintance with devastating flooding in Queensland and northern NSW this summer has been another sobering reminder of the climatic shape-shifting wreaking havoc with lives and livelihoods across the country. 

Yes, Dorothea Mackellar might well have written of droughts and flooding rains in the early 1900s (while homesick for Australia as a teenager in England), but you’d be hard-pressed to find much wistful fondness among the many farmers who have watched livestock, equipment and expanses of primary produce wash away their livelihoods for the second time in two years. 

For many of these much-heralded ‘country folk’, the financial and emotional struggle of staying on the land will be too much; they’ve said as much in shocked-filled resignation as the water came back too soon. 

Watching on, from the fire-prone drier states, the unspoken narrative is screaming; where will these people go? What will they do for a living? And who will grow the food they were growing for both domestic and export markets?”

In another irony, the current Queensland Government did not see anything other than a cost/benefit analysis being required to manage the environment. Because of the events the Queensland Premier Campbell Newman is now considering the cost of the climatic events and it is hard to find a benefit calculation other than the need for a capital injection might have to come from public funds to mitigate the damage. One such project would be that some flood-prone residential areas in Queensland could be relocated “to avoid what looks increasingly like the recurring reality of extreme flooding”.

Another pair of ABC reporters, John Morrison & Kerrin Thomas, also on 4 Feb 2013 said New South Wales Premier, Barry O’Farrell, “says his visit to flood-affected regions on the North Coast has reminded him of his visit to Moree around the same time last year. 

Moree was flooded almost exactly one year ago, as floodwaters travelled downstream from Queensland. 

Barry O’Farrell told ABC’s Statewide Drive program the conditions in Grafton this year are very similar to those in Moree 12 months ago”. To paraphrase BOF’s (Premier Barry O’Farrell – we kid you not, it is a published acronym for his name) point is that the city dwellers think it is unusual and the country folk do not.  Too right mate it is bloody heart breaking for country folk, if you did not know!

The reality is what the city dweller is now able to see change, and the statement of BOF of “unusual” is losing credence as the numbers keep stacking up that something is wrong, and climate related events are becoming more extreme and records are being broken nudging the entire population to think again about climate change.

The point is made again: It is not just Australia that is affected, in Jakarta right now, where record flooding has swamped the CBD for the first time in history. As in Queensland (suggested by the Premier Campbell Newman) there is increasing talk that relocating the Indonesian capital is the only feasible solution to an escalating problem. The ABC reporter Tracy Hutchison said, “Jakarta is sinking. Literally. Years and years of unregulated private water-bores has drained the city’s below-sea-level water table dry. The record rain, coupled with an underdeveloped drainage system and the penchant of Jakartans to use the city’s waterways as rubbish dumps, brought this city of 20-odd million to a standstill of a different kind…. Australians remember the massive economic and political impact when Brisbane flooded two year ago – the disruption and cost to business, the national flood levy, the daily Bligh/Newman media show, the rebuild…..The implications of a non-functioning Jakarta are immense and wide-ranging both for Indonesia and the region. But this is the reality…And while the Indonesian capital grappled with a watery chaos, further north a different kind of stultification was engulfing the Chinese capital. The soupy and toxic coal-fuelled smog that has descended across northern China sent monitoring devices off the scale in Beijing. 

Hospitals recorded a 30 per cent increase in admissions for respiratory-related illnesses and residents were ordered to stay indoors as state-run manufacturing was put on the kind of state-instructed ‘go-slow’ not seen since the Blue Sky policies of the Beijing Olympic preparations….There is something darkly delicious about China’s state-run manufacturing boom on a state-imposed go-slow because Beijing’s middle class, the beneficiaries of the boom, can’t breathe. It’s a vexing Catch-22 for China’s new leadership – how to keep a slowing economy buoyant but avoid a widespread public health crisis – and a new twist on boom or bust. Not to mention the regional economic implications for trading partners like Australia, whose coal-exporters might possibly be the elephant in the (Beijing hospital) room? 

It doesn’t seem that long ago that “environmental refugees” living on increasingly brackish low-lying Pacific island states of Kiribati and Tuvalu were dismissed as the political fodder of fear-mongering climate change campaigners. Now, sadly, relocations from what were once primary food-producing areas are a new way of life – and it’s not just Kiribatins and Tuvaluans feeling the watery heat. 

Widespread record flooding and deadly landslides have been a common theme across the Pacific this summer – PNG, Fiji, Samoa and the Cook Islands have all battled extreme weather events from ferocious cyclones and record rains. A 

It used to be that a few thousand people with wet feet in the Pacific never got much traction outside environmental campaigner circles; perhaps this faraway time of a planet impacted by a changing climate might be closer than we think”. 

Tracey Hutchison broadcasts throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific for ABC News Radio and Radio Australia.

Bringing this closer to home in the story “Fitzroy River continues rising amid ‘sea of water’” by Paul Robinson, Monday February 4, 2013 –the story is of central Queensland and the city of Rockhampton where it two has been hit by severe floods in as many years of the Fitzroy reaching up to 9.2m. This height has the potential to cut off the city for as much as two weeks at a time. Flooding also closed the Airport. However the problem for the city is that much of the water coming in also came from further inland, which brings its own problems in terms of trade. And extensive damage to agriculture. 

Quoted is “We’ve seen loss of livestock, there’s tractors that have been washed out of sheds, four-wheelers that are a couple of hundred metres down the paddock, there’s a lot of irrigation gear and pump sheds that have just gone missing, tanks, like a lot of fodder, round bales, small bales and lucerne, all gone,” he said. 

”Tourism hit

A central Queensland tourism body says tourist operators can expect further hits to business as Rockhampton prepares for Saturday’s flood peak. 

Capricorn Enterprise says highways cut by floodwaters severely damage tourism”. Also affected is rail infrastructure and mining activities and it is reported that “rail company Aurizon says coal rail lines to Gladstone could be closed for more than a week…. An Aurizon spokeswoman says crews are still unable to fully assess the situation because the rail line is under water. However, she says at the moment they expect the Moura and Blackwater systems will reopen within seven to 10 days. 

Freight operations along the coast have also been interrupted by flooding of the Queensland Rail network”. 
We should also say roads are also cut or restricted for use at different points too.

CO2Land org thinks maybe BOF had it the wrong way around. Country folk are finding it unusual that 10, 50 and 100 years events are happening, seemingly every 2 years. It is city folk that are tending to think it is normal and even the assistance appeals are failing to reach the targets.  Is it too late, how can we adapt at this rate? What is the cost of taking the high ground!

EPBC Powers – COAG passing the ball?

A seemingly disjointed argument: Commonwealth devolving EPBC powers to States and Territories and the Founder-CEO of GIST Advisory, a specialist consulting firm which helps governments and corporations discover, measure, value and manage their impacts on natural and human capital held a seminar at the Australian National University (ANU), 5 December 2012. In essence, both argue over the move from federalism models of influence to enterprise models.

As an analogy, and as we in all likelihood, need the technology to research effectively, our IT systems giants can be brought into the highlights: Apple is a Federalism model and Microsoft an Enterprise model.  Co2Land org puts forward the difference is the application of standards and accreditation. One is a moderator and influencer, and he other is a executive lobbyist and controller. Another way of putting it – Apple makes devices that influence the development of things that make it work and manage the introductions of the applications that can be framed fro the devices. Microsoft makes thing work for the information flows that fit the enterprise and its vested interests, and strictly controls the infrastructure platforms they will work to within the select enterprise. If you translate that to Federal and State and Territory government workings, you might see the possibility of a run away train through select enterprise if the influence is replaced by vested interest other than the good of society, or our long term future.

If we go back to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999 (EPBC) concerns:

  • We notice that Andrew Campbell, Director, Research Institute for Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, headlines ‘Commonwealth handballs environmental protection to States and Territories’, and talks of the COAG proposal to devolve EPBC powers to States and Territories, “even for matters of national significance, may be OK in principle but seems sure to end in tears. States & Territories are dis-investing in environmental capacity and are often proponents or at least key stakeholders in big development projects. Existing S/T legal frameworks are patchy. Hard to imagine that the Commonwealth will invest sufficiently in monitoring or compliance to ensure that other jurisdictions adhere rigorously to the COAG agreement”. He then said “when inevitable controversy occurs, the Commonwealth Minister will be blamed anyway”.
  •  Preceding Campbell, 0n 5 December 2012, http://theconversation.edu.au ,the Conversation printed, ‘Commonwealth should keep final say on environment protection’. This creditable account even offered what interests the authors may have to declare including:  Lee Godden has received funding from the Australian Research Council for a project on environmental governance and climate change. Jacqueline Peel receives funding from the Australian Research Council under grants relating to climate change regulation and litigation. Lisa Caripis has volunteered with a number of climate change advocacy groups including the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC).
  •  The ‘Conversation’ story is compelling and to quote “Almost 30 years ago, the  Australian High Court gave the Commonwealth Government constitutional authority to make laws protecting the national environment. Now, a Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) agreement will severely limit the practical scope of that Commonwealth power. CoAG has initiated a fast-tracked process to effectively devolve Commonwealth development approval powers under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (EPBC Act) to the states. This could see a return to a highly decentralised system of environmental management in Australia, which means nationally significant areas and problems could receive inadequate attention”.

At the ANU scheduled seminar for GIST – Pavan Sukhdev, he defines an economy as one that improves human well-being and social equity while also reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. While focused on an economy: It is an urgent need to build a green economy as was the primary theme of the ‘Rio+20’ conference in June this year. Mr Sukhdev suggests that micro-level rather than macro-level changes are required to bring about a green economy, and that corporations have an important role to play in this regard.

Co2Land org asks what can be achieved by short term solutions being put to long term problems? An economy – is it an accounting function or a heritage action?  Why write about this? We must address this and other issues, and posts like this might help tackle, and influence us to avoid looming catastrophic damage to the environment, and at the very least mitigate trends in climate change. The word here is ‘responsible’ as in held accountable for bad actions, and praise for good ones. Ball passing, as described by Campbell, then becomes irresponsible!

Transistion to LLS – NSW

Some confusion exists of the changes in NSW, and how safeguarding agriculture will continue. The November 2012 issue of the Tablelands Landholder Newsletter features John Seaman the Chairman from the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities (LHPA).  The central message is LHPA will continue to service agriculture stakeholders until LHPA, Catchment Management Authorities (CMA) and some of the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) responsible units are amalgamated into the new body in NSW called Local Land Services (LLS). The complete handover to LLS is expected to be January 2014.

CO2Land org is compelled to help clarify what is happening in the transition after we broke a story Major shake-up for DPI: Posted on October 10, 2012 by co2land. In that post as quoted “It is goodbye to Catchment Management and the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities. They are to be eliminated in a major shake-up in the provision of agricultural and catchment management services in NSW. This means a Major shake-up for the Department of Primary Industries. It is understood the new structure would be responsible for:  Agricultural advice, plant and animal pest control and biosecurity, natural resource management; and, emergency and disaster assessment and response.

The Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson was quoted as saying “agricultural advisory services provided by Agriculture NSW (part of the Department of Primary Industries) would also be incorporated in a single new body, Local Land Services”.

The theme of the transition is ‘let’s work together’ and it is said that ‘business as usual’ will continue in terms of maintaining commitment to the landholders.

On the theme of lets work together highlighted is:

  • Reduce Rural Crime, and unfortunately opportunist crime is common and organized crime continues. Good neighbours is as important as is effective policing and it could be time for a sensible Christmas present suggestion – motion sensing cameras around and at the entrance of the property.  Maybe everything that goes moo though the night might be a real mover?
  • Fox control has resulted in a 10-15% lamb marking increase – serious effort required to continue with eliminating this introduced pest.
  • It is a legal requirement for all landholders in NSW to control declared pest animals. Wild Rabbits are part of that requirement.
  • From 1 September 2012, in NSW, anyone who keeps livestock will be required to have a Property Identification Code (PIC). This code is for the parcel of land in which the livestock are kept. You should be aware this requirement says the land parcel owns the Livestock and the carer (Landholder/Manager) needs permission to move the livestock to other areas or parcels of land. You should also be aware that the previous requirement for the PIC has been expanded to deer, bison, buffalo, alpacas, llama, donkeys, and horses, keeping more than 100 poultry, more than 10 emu or ostriches in addition to cattle, sheep, goats and pigs need to have a PIC number.

Looking at the model of Local Land Services you might notice the emphasis is on a better relationship for regional areas, and making it less prescriptive in dealing with the landholders. While it is welcome that the work of community-based natural resource management organisations like Landcare NSW and Greening Australia will be more closely attuned to the administration it remains to be seen if harmony will prevail over funding distributions and cooperation with other co-funded organisations including the Rural Research and Development Corporations. That said, both federal and state bodies are on record as being supportive of volunteers that work in the communities and in return they can receive stewardship payments to offset some of the program costs.

It follows that most landholders are part of a community group and would be happy if the benefits of the changes included biodiversity reintroduction, carbon sequestration and salinity and erosion control. And, little or no additional cost being levied on landholders to achieve the benefit.

Co2Land org  encourages any question to be directed to admin.tablelands@lhpa.org.au

Clean Energy (Unit Issue Charge—Auctions) Amendment Bill 2012 – passed

The seven bills passed the Senate, and the Clean Energy (Unit Issue Charge—Auctions) Amendment Bill 2012, without amendments, by 34 votes to 28 on Monday night, 26 Nov 2012. The Australian ETS will link to the EU ETS and all that is required for law is Royal Assent.

What is a bill? A bill is a proposal for a law or a change to an existing law. A bill becomes law (an Act) when agreed to in identical form by both houses of Parliament and assented to by the Governor-General.

Reference source: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4896

Progress of the amendment bill include:

  • House of Representative introduced and read first time 19 September 2012 to six other presentations and the third reading agreed on 11 October 2012;
  • SENATE introduced and read first time 11 October 2012 to eight other presentations where the text of bill as passed both Houses was announced on 26 November 2012.

Some advocates for the carbon price are disappointed that this passage means the end of the $15 floor price of the original premise for the local scheme, and that argument can be respected.

Albeit the bill has passed relatively quickly and by the numbers, there is little or no support to be found with the executive of the opposition leadership. On ‘the far side’, excuse the reference to cartoon characterization, it is still preferred to retort to name calling and demonization of anyone with fortitude to promote change. The question that will remain until tested is: Will we regret tying ourselves to the EU scheme, as that scheme has shown weakness in its auction system and has required intervention to stay afloat?  CO2Land org will speculate the answer is we would be far more exposed if we did not take the step. We are not alone.

Apart from the deniers the evidence is we have to go with the system. This is further emphasized when most of the industries and the economies evolve around the need for the certainty. The ETS systems bring with them a market to focus on and give them a need for the market to plan for their future in the carbon constrained world.

It is still very perplexing as to why climate change deniers can say “a bigger con than ours as it has achieved zero except make some feel good”, “they don’t call her Juliar for nothing”.  ‘They’ can easily traced to the opposition and the rallying against the carbon tax and vowing to repeal it if in government.

The opposition tack is shallow and continues to describe the carbon tax as a shambles, despite no evidence of any magnitude of negative affects being demonstrated because of the price. The greater threat to energy prices is all gaming activities on energy prices, a lackluster energy regulatory regime and the need for revenue gains for cash strapped States. Posted on September 14, 2012 by co2land The cold hard facts on state finances can be taken from this table:

  NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS
2011/12 -$940 -$811 na -$178 -$120 -$80
2012/13 -$1000 -$635 na -$284 -$400 -$120

Table: Estimated impact of GST reduction on State budgets, 2011/12 and 2012/13 ($m). Source: State budget papers

The greater danger is the A bot leadership is to do not a thing to genuinely address the need for certainty, other than promise to repeal the legislation and leave us isolated from the global benefits. The tragic comedy continues where one Nationals senator Ron Boswell said as quoted by the ABC on renewable energy targets and the carbon price driving up electricity prices. “Australia is in an expensive energy hole right now because … of the carbon tax, and it is time we stop digging”. No need to comment on that one, it answers itself as to what is the problem!

CO2Land org notes carbon pricing was one of the most significant changes to the Australian economy, it will be enduring but not endearing and it will be important for business to know the way to calculate the environmental cost of their activities. Otherwise they may be penalized by those places where emitters pay. We are not alone and not going to be alone. The EU ETS is followed by California’s first auction sellout – they have even found some businesses have experienced outstanding business performance in the carbon markets and plan awards ceremonies for same, and China’s planned expansion to position itself as number 2 ETS market ahead of California should give confidence to our businesses and innovators that understand the importance of carbon and to be a sustainable entity. Posted on November 14, 2012 by co2land “The official start for California’s Carbon Pollution Allowances purchase of permits at auction starts 14 November 2012.” In a previous story California’s ‘carbon market mandate’ posted on 9 October 2012 by co2land it was said “Looking at what the Californian’s have done: They have taken the approach that big business can be encouraged from polluting the environment”. The http://news.yahoo.com/california-sells-first-pollution-permits-222337650.html reports on 19 November 2012 that the sellout of 23.1M permits attracted $10.09 each.

If you need more, or need to know what all this really means to the two way linking of the EU ETC, the AU ETS and Carbon pricing following is the Federal Government’s link on the agreement

Download the PDF

Australia and European Commission agree on pathway towards fully linking emissions trading systems (88 kB)

 

 

second largest carbon market in the world – kick-off

The official start for California’s Carbon Pollution Allowances purchase of permits at auction starts 14 November 2012. The occasion is described as historic and obliges the state’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters― like power plants and large manufacturers to participate and is expected to pump billions of dollars, in the next year, into California’s economy.

In a previous story California’s ‘carbon market mandate’ posted on 9 October 2012 by co2land it was said “Looking at what the Californian’s have done: They have taken the approach that big business can be encouraged from polluting the environment, and they can be simultaneously funding green industries through an auction permit system. The move is under the California state passed Assembly Bill 1532 (AB 1532), also known as the “carbon market mandate.” It is labeled as a boon for the state, environmentally and financially. Significant fees are levied to major corporate polluters, and those fees are invested into eco-friendly businesses that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The state aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050.”

Then more recently on 12 Nov 2012, EcoWatch org posted  “Four Facts About California’s First-Ever Carbon Auction” focused on a post by Emily Reyna about the Environmental Defense Fund. In the preface she referenced President Obama’s remarks about action against a “warming planet” and said all eyes will be on California’s first ever cap-and-trade auction for pollution permits, and it will be the second largest carbon market in the world. This market is second only to the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.

The risk for the auction is low according to the author and even individuals can buy if they wish, and a practice run was held in August 2012 to test the systems.

She offers more information about the nuts and bolts of the auction can be read here, and directly quoting the view of the author on the claims of the program:

“1. This is the best designed cap-and-trade program in the world
California has the good fortune of learning from predecessor cap-and-trade programs like the European Union Emissions Trading Platform, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and the Acid Rain Program, just to name a few. Key elements of California’s program include giving free allowances to industry in the beginning years to help with transition; letting entities bank allowances for future use; and establishing an allowance reserve in case prices exceed a certain value. All help keep carbon prices more stable and make for a well-functioning market.

2. A price will be established for carbon, but that will vary as the program evolves
The California program will include auctions four times a year through 2020—32 more times after November 2012. As such, the number of participants, the settlement price and other results of the first auction may not necessarily predict the activity of future auctions. Over time, the market will change and both prices and participation will fluctuate as the cap reduces and businesses decide how best to participate.

3. Money from the auctions will be used to invest in California’s clean energy future
Proceeds from the auction must be invested in ways that further the goals of the law—the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). Though these investments are scheduled to start in the next fiscal year, a specific investment plan is still underway and is being guided by two bills passed at the end of California’s legislative session. Likely project categories include renewable energy, energy efficiency, advanced vehicles and natural resource conservation. In addition, 25 percent of proceeds must be used in ways that benefit disadvantaged communities. These investments will boost clean tech in California, improve air quality and create jobs.

4. California’s leadership will serve as a launch pad for other programs
California is the ninth largest economy on the planet, and the world is watching. No state or country can stop climate change alone, but California’s environmental policies have a history of success and replication, including clean car, clean fuel and energy efficiency standards that have saved consumers across the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars in avoided energy purchases. If the past is any indicator, California’s rich history of leading the nation on responses to critical environmental problems, while delivering wide ranging benefits, means the U.S. is on the brink of something special.

A public notice of the auction results will be released on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, and will be posted to both the Air Resources Board and auction website.”

CO2Land org offers that you might like to visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

Indicators of hope – Environmental and Sustainability

In the 2012 victory speech President Obama call out “the destructive power of a warming planet”. It is reported it was more than words and some action will come from the make-up within the state houses and Congress from this election.

In a story along a similar vein Kate Sheppard for Mother Jones, part of the Guardian Environment Networkguardian.co.uk, Friday 9 November 2012, wrote about wins and the people that will champion the changes. These being: Jay Inslee – Washington State’s new governor; Martin Heinrich – New Mexico’s next senator; Angus King – Maine’s next senator; Pete Gallego – the next congressman, Texas’ 23rd District; Carol Shea-Porter – congresswoman, New Hampshire’s 1st District

Directly quoting Sheppard:

“1. Jay Inslee, Washington state’s new governor. Inslee, a Democrat, who has represented Washington in the House of Representatives since 1993, has long been a champion of renewable energy and sound environmental policies. In 2007 he coauthored the book Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy, on that very subject. He was a member of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming (back before the Republicans nixed it) and the co-chair of the House Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition. He was also a key figure in shaping the climate bill that passed the House in 2009. As governor, he has pledged to continue that leadership.

2. Martin Heinrich, New Mexico’s next senator. Democrat Heinrich defeated Republican Heather Wilson in the race to succeed retiring Senator Jeff Bingaman. Heinrich authored the Clean Energy Promotion Act, a bill that would have expanded the number of renewable energy projects on public lands. (It didn’t pass, but it was a nice idea.) Before joining Congress he was a board member of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and was appointed to serve as the state’s Natural Resources Trustee, who oversees the assessment and protection of the state’s resources.

3. Angus King, Maine’s next senator. King, an independent, is drawing attention because he won’t say whether he plans to caucus with the Democrats or the Republicans. But environmental groups are certain that he will be a strong voice for climate action, based on his record as governor of Maine. After leaving office, he went into the wind energy business, building a 50-megawatt wind farm in Oxford County. He won endorsements from the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club.

4. Pete Gallego, the next congressman from Texas’ 23rd District. Gallego, a Democrat, defeated Republican incumbent Quico Canseco in this very close House race that featured fights about Jesus and a rare, eyeless spider. An outside group sent a mailer to voters accusing Gallego of siding with “left-wing extremists” in the debate over protecting this spider’s habitat from the construction of a new highway. Gallego won the endorsement of the League of Conservation voters based on his record of, in his own words, promoting a “robust, environmentally-friendly economy.”

5. Carol Shea-Porter, the once-and future-congresswoman from New Hampshire’s 1st District. Shea-Porter served two terms in the House but lost her seat to Republican Frank Guinta in the tea-party surge of the 2010 election. She reclaimed it on Tuesday, rallying support with a poignant appeal for action on global warming: “If Americans want to fix this climate change problem, they will first need to fix Congress in November.””

Co2Land org shares that many people will breath more easily at hearing there are indicators of bi-partisan support and the appointing of persons that care accordingly after the US presidential election.  Our friends have indicated they are happy to hear there are words saying we will work together, that governments will govern, and do more than just put bumper stickers on our possessions.

Targeted – The most environmentally hostile House of Representatives

According to leading environmental groups the current US House of Representatives is one of the most environmentally hostile in history. Part of the problem, is that many members simply refuse to admit, for personal or political reasons, that humans are causing climate change.

To try and shake things up this after the elections, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) a nonprofit environmental advocacy group is pouring $1.5US million (on top of $2US million they already put into this election cycle) into a campaign to defeat five of the most outspoken climate deniers currently in the House.

The campaign, called “Defeat the Flat Earth Five” will focus on members that are ignoring science and out of touch with what most Americans believe.

“The Flat Earth Five is our first program ever to go after members of Congress specifically because they are climate deniers,” said Jeff Gohringer, LCV’s National Press Secretary. He goes on to say: “At a time when Americans are seeing the effects of climate change right outside their window — whether it’s drought, extreme temperatures or wildfires — these members of Congress are stubbornly ignoring science,” and “We can’t expect them to fix a problem they can’t or won’t admit exists.”

CO2Land org notes the targeting of the Flat Earth Five is because it is said they are at odds with their constituents, scientists and even the Pentagon – which has called climate change a national security threat.

CO2Land org also ponders, why is our politics so similar and even to the point you could close your eyes and forget where you are at and it all sounds so familiar, and you feel it is getting hotter by degrees!

Story credit to Joanna Foster – a freelance science journalist based in New York City. Known for work that has appeared in OnEarth Magazine and at the American Museum of Natural History. Story in full published in http://www.Takepart.com – Wed, Jul 25, 2012.