Search Results for Tag: 2020
Bursting Bubbles of Hot Air
Authors: Kerstin Schnatz and Klaus Esterluss
Despite being in the middle of a desert, Doha’s newly built convention center is well chilled. But the uncountable air conditions at this year’s venue of the United Nations climate summit (COP18) did not cool the minds of climate activists this morning.
A coalition of Greenpeace, Carbon Market Watch and the WWF loudly drew the delegates’ attention towards tons of hot air – hot air that literally is hidden in the current Kyoto protocol. The Kyoto protocol puts a price on carbon emissions. It is the only legally binding trading scheme aimed at reducing CO2 emissions. But the first trading period is ending in just a few days from now, at the end of 2012.
Activists handed out symbolic carbon credits to delegates for two reasons:
1. To call for a second period of the Kyoto protocol
2. To pledge for a dumping of surplus carbon credits in this second phase
One carbon credit allows a state to emit the equivalent of one ton of CO2. The flaw is: In the current, first trading period of the Kyoto protocol, has created a bubble: Too many countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Poland or Japan, have collected a surplus of credits – a surplus they want to rescue over to the next, ongoing years. The equivalent of all credit savings in this “hot air bubble” is 13 billion tonns of CO2. That is almost three times of what the 27 EU-member states pump into the air each year. If the states do not drop their surplus credits and thus do not burst the bubble in a second phase of the Kyoto trading scheme, these 13 billion tons of CO2 could be emit for free into the world’s atmosphere.
To remind delegates of reducing their own country’s CO2 emissions, they were invited to dump their symbolic hot air credits in a bin before entering the conference halls.
Call for a second commitment period
According to WWF’s William McGoldrick it’s Europe who has to be a rolemodel in the negotiations at COP18. “At the moment, countries jump out of the protocol, but still hold on their hot air credits,” he frames the problem.
DateDecember 4, 2012
Tags2020, action, agreement, carben market watch, cop18, credits, doha, Greenpeace, Hot air, kyoto protocol, wwf
Loch Ness meets green power
Author: Kerstin Schnatz
Scotland is one of the few nations in the world to have a Minister of Climate Change. We met Paul Weelhouse today at the World Climate Summit 2012 where he discussed the global energy mix of the future. While Qatar, represented by it’s Minister of Energy and Industry, counts heavily on natural gas, Scotland takes a differnt turn. Even though Scotland still is the biggest producer of oil and gas in the European Union and wants to keep this role, the country aims to run on 100% renewables by 2020. To reach this ambitious goal, lots of money and manpower are invested already. Even the mystic sea-monster Nessie takes part in the Scottish developement – but hear and see for yourself.
DateDecember 3, 2012
Tags2020, ambition, climate, cop18, doha, energy, minister, power, qatar, renewable, Scotland, solar, tidal, water, weelhouse, wind
Wind power crucial for fighting climate change
As the parties are battling over ways to fight climate change in Durban at COP17, the Global Wind Energy Council published a new study on the potential of wind power for significantly reduce CO2 emissions in the energy sector. Since 40% of global CO2 emissions are produced by the power sector it is perfectly clear that we can not win the fight against climate change without a dramatic shift in the way we produce and consume electricity. As science makes clear: global emissions need to peak and begin to decline before 2020. That is a goal only to be reached with a increase of in renewable energy deployments. While building a conventional power plant can take up to ten years, a large wind farm can be put up in a matter of months. And within three to six months of operations, a wind turbine has offset all emissions from its construction, to run virtually carbon free for the remainder of its 20 year lifetime, according to the study.
In the latest publication concerning “Wind Energy and climate policy” introduced here in Durban it says that in terms of the targets already stated by the industrialized countries for the period up to 2020, global wind energy could contribute at least 44% of the total emissions reductions, i.e. 1.5 billion tons of CO2 every year. And although that is nowhere near what the science tells us is required, even for a larger reduction wind power could play a crucial role in achieving that goal.
As Nelson Mandela said: “It always seems impossible, until it is done.”
DateDecember 1, 2011