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After all the talk of energy shortages and black-outs over the past week, I thought it’s time to take a more positive look at the energy policy horizon.  I’ve picked out a couple of highlights that might help us keep the faith through the long nights huddled around candles rubbing flints together: i) London Array – the world’s biggest offshore wind farm – was officially opened today by David Cameron.  It’s only… Read More

There has been a lot of talk about subsidies for the renewables sector this week, so I thought it might be useful to ponder, for a moment, a world without subsidies. In this world, the energy mix might look different.  But the changes might not be the ones that critics of renewables subsidies would expect. Fossil fuels benefit from a $523bn (2011) global subsidy.  This is 500% more subsidy than the renewables… Read More

It was no lesser authority than Kenny Rogers who revealed in his 1978 country classic that ‘Every gambler knows; the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep’.   It is a logic that has been whispered around card tables and hollered at barn dances from Kent to Kentucky ever since.  But today saw perhaps its most unusual application to date.  Forget the precautionary principle or sustainable… Read More

There is a radical idea doing the rounds. So radical in fact that in years gone by, earlier forms of the idea have brought down governments, destroyed political parties, even brought the country to the brink of civil war. It’s explosive stuff.  Political dynamite. Being too technical to fit into an abusive UKIP tweet means it has passed the local elections by. But if the Kippers only knew it was about a… Read More

When cap-and-trade was introduced as the primary policy tool to drive emission reductions in Europe in 2005, it marked something of a policy revolution. From the ancien regime of command-and-control regulation here was something that represented a brave new world of efficient and flexible controls on pollution.  Old rules which had been watered-down, manipulated and evaded by vested interests would be guillotined by the unwavering blade of the EU Commission’s cap. The… Read More

Polling shows that the US public is becoming more concerned about climate change and more inclined to support measures that prevent it.    A recent study by Duke university shows that support for action has increased to the highest level since 2006. Obama is responding to that change in public mood as he delivered a call for Congress to bring a cap-and-trade bill in his state of the union address.  But is federal… Read More

We are only three weeks into 2013 and there is already a feeling of a revolution in the world of climate policy. Led by a courageous and unexpected inauguration speech by Obama, the world’s second biggest polluter is finally awakening from its long apathetic slumber over emissions reductions. Years of hard ground-work have led to the successful launch of the California Carbon Trading Scheme and moves by the Environmental Protection Agency to… Read More

White Out in Carbon Market as Auction Fails Could the 18th January be the day that national governments and legislators were finally jolted into action to rescue the EU carbon market? On the day that most of London was snowed in with the heating on full blast, there was a major shock as a large carbon auction being run by the German government on the new EU platform failed for the first… Read More

Politicians and sceptics have hailed 2012 as the year the global carbon market finally croaked its last.    However the latest report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance paints a more nuanced picture and offers a more positive perspective. While BNEF’s data shows the absolute value of the global carbon market  transactions plunged 36% last year as European Union prices fell and United Nations emission credits dropped to record lows, transaction volumes across the… Read More