25 November 2009

Shell asks for higher price on carbon, California moves toward its own cap/trade scheme, other company, industry, government and other news

Holiday Notice: No HaraBara Daily Brief Thursday or Friday, 26 and 27 November, due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. -- Happy Thanksgiving!

Top Stories

Shell: market alone cannot deliver green energy.reliability high.
"Shell's new chief executive has called on governments to intervene in carbon markets, the first time the Anglo-Dutch oil company has acknowledged that markets cannot be left to set the price of pollution. Peter Voser told the Guardian that action needed to be taken to make expensive green projects like carbon capture and storage (CCS) economically viable." "The Shell boss has become the latest and most high profile business leader to moot the idea of a tax, which is also receiving growing support from politicians in the UK and France ahead of the Copenhagen summit on climate change next month." From The Guardian. [What Mr. Voser is saying, in effect, is that some "green" technologies, such as carbon capture and storage and nuclear, are so expensive that there is no cost of carbon that market mechanisms like cap and trade systems can create that make them competitive with fossil fuels and established renewable energy technologies. The carbon cap and trade systems implemented so far (or in legislatures now) have been so weakened that they do not impose a very high carbon price. Would taxes be any less prone to such political manipulation? Politicians are just not willing to enact carbon pricing or taxes high enough to make these costly technologies competitive.]

California proposes trading program to cut emissions.reliability high.
"California officials on Tuesday issued the nation's first blueprint for a broad-based cap-and-trade plan, an innovative and controversial effort to use market forces to control global warming. The ambitious program would cap most of the state's greenhouse gases, including those from more than 600 power plants, refineries, cement plants and other big factories. It would allow companies to buy and sell emission allowances among themselves to reach an overall goal of cutting planet-warming pollutants 15% below today's levels by 2020." "But the current draft leaves several controversial elements unresolved: how many emission allowances to auction off, rather than give away for free, and how to spend the revenue." From Los Angeles Times.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Tetra Pak teams up with Braskem for 'green' HDPE.reliability high.
"Packaging giant Tetra Pak has announced a pilot scheme to manufacture plastic caps and closures using renewable HDPE from Braskem. Under the terms of today’s agreement, Braskem will supply Tetra Pak with 5Ktons of the ethanol-based HDPE per year as from 2011. The HDPE will represent 5% of Tetra Pak’s total HDPE demand, and slightly less than 1% of its total plastics purchases. Company spokesperson Linda Bernier says that even though the pilot initially involves small amounts of the material, Tetra Pak hopes green plastics will eventually become commercially viable." "Braskem will make the material from ethanol derived from sugar cane at its first commercial-scale polyethylene plant, located in Brazil, which is due to come on stream next year." See European Plastics News.

NREL and WorldWatch Offer 'Big Picture' Tools for the Renewable Energy Community.reliability high.
"NREL’s Clean Energy Economy Gateway is a tool that offers a granular- or 30,000-foot-view of global renewable energy development.  The gateway uses Google Earth and real-time data to map clean energy economic activity and show how renewable energy development is an interplay between policy, market activity and technology development." From Renewable Energy World. Gateway here.

Conservationists and insurers join forces to combat climate change.reliability high.
"WWF and RSA insurance announced a three-year international partnership to research the insurance risks of climate change and encourage green living." "During the course of this partnership we'll be helping and learning from each other to understand more about environmental risks, to protect our business and customers while minimising the impact on the environment." They hope to develop "new green insurance products giving customers incentives to cut their environmental footprint" to be sold starting in 2011. See edie.net. More here.

Retrofitted Exit Signs Can Save Up to 90% in Energy Costs.reliability high.
Exit signs using LEDs can save up to 90% in energy costs, and require much less maintenance. "The return on investment for switching to LEDs is typically about nine months." See Environmental Leader.

Government and Regulation

Canadian parliamentary majority proposes deep carbon cuts.reliability high.
"the Canadian Parliament passed a motion urging the minority conservative government to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels." The motion has no legal weight. From COP-15 site, based on AFP story.

Related: Canadians chagrined over status as climate-change dawdlers.reliability high.
"a major survey of Canadians has found that more than three quarters of the public feel embarrassed that the country hasn't been taking a leadership role on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions." The study by Hoggan & Associates is to be released next week. "Even in Alberta, 65 per cent of respondents agreed with a statement that 'it's embarrassing that we are not doing more to curb emissions.' Support for the view favouring more action was highest in Quebec, at 86 per cent." See The Globe and Mail. [Canada trails all but Australia in HaraBara's League Table.]

Cutting greenhouse pollutants could directly save millions of lives worldwide.reliability high.
"Tackling climate change by reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions will have major direct health benefits in addition to reducing the risk of climate change, especially in low-income countries, according to a series of six papers appearing today (Wed., Nov. 25) in the British journal The Lancet." From EurekAlert. Access articles, commentary, executive summary here.

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2009 HaraBara, Inc.]