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International Policy/Programs

As Conservatives Win Australian Election, What Impact Will It Have on Carbon Markets

September 10, 2013 1:57 PM | Posted by Greissing, Patrick | Topic(s): Federal Policy/Programs, International Policy/Programs, Energy Policy, GHG / Climate Change

Tony Abbott, the head of the Liberal National Party Coalition, has won the election in Australia to become the country’s new Prime Minister. Abbott has long vowed to scrap the carbon tax that the government implemented in 2012, going as far as declaring the election a “referendum on the carbon tax.” His plans to get rid of the carbon tax may have to wait until the new senators take their seats next July, as current Labor and Green party members plan to try and prevent the process while they can. Abbott hopes to introduce an incentive plan for taxpayers in an effort to make polluters operate in a cleaner fashion.

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First Large-Scale CCS Project Destined for North America

May 31, 2012 8:54 PM | Posted by Patrick.Greissing@alston.com | Topic(s): International Policy/Programs, Carbon Capture & Storage/Sequestration

Carbon capture and sequestration has been seen as a key technology in the battle against climate change. The International Energy Agency has estimated that in order to meet carbon emission goals, 100 CCS projects would need to be up and running by 2020 and over 3000 projects would be needed by 2050. As a result, countries have been seeking funding and the best available method to implement these commercial scale projects. At one time, Europe seemed like it had the ability to meet the demand first but according to a new report from Bloomberg, it appears that North America is now likely to get the first projects up and running.

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Deal Reached in Final Hours at UNFCCC Talks in Durban

December 12, 2011 11:57 AM | Posted by Patrick Greissing | Topic(s): International Policy/Programs, Carbon Capture & Storage/Sequestration

As the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) went into its final weekend of talks in Durban, South Africa, many doubted whether an agreement could be reached. However as the final hours approached there was an agreement reached that promised a “universal legal agreement on climate change as soon as possible, but not later than 2015.” A new group, the Ad Hock Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, was formed to begin work immediately on an agreement. The key to the agreement was getting both developed and developing countries to agree to it. Some of the other key parts of the agreement include:

  • Green Climate Fund: It should be operational in 2012 as countries have already begin pledging to it. A 20 member Standing Committee was formed to oversee it. And a program to guarantee long-term finance was agreed to.
  • Technology: the Technology Mechanism will become fully operational in 2012.
  • CCS: under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism governments agreed to allow carbon capture and storage projects as part of the CDM. Guidelines reviewed every 5 years.

New NASA Data Takes Aim at Global Warming

August 2, 2011 11:51 AM | Posted by Patrick Greissing | Topic(s): International Policy/Programs, Energy Policy

A recent study published in the science journal Remote Sensing shows that NASA satellite data from the last 11 years (2000-2011) indicates that the Earth’s atmosphere has been able to release far more heat into space than those who pushed the theory of “Global Warming” believed. The study, by Drs. Roy Spencer and William Braswell, differs from predictions that have been made based on the United Nations computer models. Their study says that much less global warming will occur.

Dr. Spencer said in a press release, “The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show.” Not only does the study show that far less heat is being trapped, but that the atmosphere sheds the heat into space a lot sooner than the United Nations models predicted. The information collected for the study came from the NASA Terra satellite.

IPCC Says 80 Percent Renewable Energy Possible by 2050

May 11, 2011 12:35 PM | Posted by Patrick Greissing | Topic(s): International Policy/Programs, Energy Policy, Renewable Energy

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released a report that says 80 percent of the world’s energy needs could come from renewables by 2050, according to the press release. In order for this to happen, however, governments would have to spend more money and introduce a number of new policies.

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Commercial Scale CCS Plant Set for Saskatchewan

April 27, 2011 1:23 PM | Posted by Patrick Greissing | Topic(s): International Policy/Programs, Carbon Capture & Storage/Sequestration

Saskatchewan is taking a step forward in the world of carbon capture and storage (CCS).  The province has approved a $1.24 billion project to build one of the world’s first commercial scale CCS plants.  SaskPower, with the help of the Canadian government, will rebuild an older power plant at its Boundary Dam site and equip it with technology to capture the CO2 from flue gas with the use of solvents. The unit is expected to capture close to one million tons of CO2 per year. The captured CO2 will then be sold off to oil companies, which will use the CO2 for enhanced oil recovery operations.

European Commission Set to Fund CCS and Renewables

November 9, 2010 2:42 PM | Posted by Patrick Greissing | Topic(s): International Policy/Programs

The European Commission is set to announce the allocation of emission allowances worth roughly EUR 4.5 billion, for carbon capture and storage technology, as well as other renewable energy technology projects.  The commission is doing so through the revised Emission Trading Directive in a collaboration with the European Investment Bank (EIB), which will set aside 300 million allowances for CCS and renewables.  

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Alberta Bill Covers CCS Liability

November 3, 2010 2:36 PM | Posted by Patrick Greissing | Topic(s): International Policy/Programs

Bill 24, the Carbon Capture and Storage Statutes Amendment Act of 2010, would see the Alberta government accepting long-term liability for carbon dioxide that is sequestered underground during CCS projects.  While the bill hasn’t passed yet, it did pass through the first phase of reading successfully.  This is critical for the development of CCS technology.  Alberta is the first province in Canada to introduce legislation of this nature. The bill would see the government assume liability from the project operator once they have been given data proving the stored CO2 has been contained. The legislation also defines pore space and creates a CCS fund for ongoing costs and any required corrections. 

United States Commits to Funding

December 17, 2009 3:45 PM | Posted by max.zygmont@alston.com | Topic(s): International Policy/Programs, Business Initiatives, Energy Policy

As the international climate change talks in Copenhagen began slow over the issues of financing for and commitments by developing countries, the United States made a move that may help end the stalemate.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech committing the United States to contributing, in some form or fashion, $100 billion per year by 2020 to support developing countries' efforts to reduce emissions. 

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Obama Announces Targets, Will Attend Copenhagen

November 30, 2009 2:19 PM | Posted by Patrick Greissing | Topic(s): International Policy/Programs, Energy Policy, Events

Last week, President Obama announced that he will be attending the international climate change talks in Copenhagen on December 9.  The talks, set to begin on December 7 and continue to December 18, will also see many key members of the Obama administration in attendance.  President Obama also unveiled a short term emissions target of “in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels” for 2020.  Many key lawmakers and CEO’s support the President’s announcement.

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