Search Results for Tag: CO2
When climate pays for financial crisis
Once upon a time, politicians had a good idea for how to create incentives that make companies want to become greener. Companies were to buy certificates for the amount of carbondioxide they emitted – one certificate for every ton. The more carbon – the more certificates they had to buy. The less CO2, the less certificates. So far, so good.
Initially sold for 20 Euros a piece, the price of certificates rose to a record 32 Euros before embarking on a steady decline: At the end of January it dropped to an all-time low of 2,81 Euro. We were wondering what the reasons for and the consequences of this low price might be, so we’ve asked Christian Linden from the German Emissions Trading Authority to give us some input for our FAQ.
How come the price for emissions certificates is nose-diving so badly at the moment?
At present supply outweighs demand. That’s for a number of reasons: companies were allocated certificates too generously at the start of both, the initial and subsequent trading periods. Plus, the economic and financial crisis has led to a decline in industrial production, which in turn brought about a decline in CO2 emissions. As a consequence companies have accumulated a surplus in certificates, which is now flooding the market, bringing down the price.
Another argument could be that some companies have already became greener, which means they need fewer certificates (German source).
What happens if the price stays that low?
There is little incentive to invest in climate friendly technology, if it’s too cheap to carry on producing goods in a way that harms our climate.
What can be done to get the certificate prices to rise again?
In the short term, a good idea is what the EU commission has suggested: to temporarily keep a certain number of certificates – they are talking about 900 million – out of the market. In the longer run it’s important that on a political level an ambitious climate goal is agreed to reduce carbon emissions in the EU by 30 percent until 2020. This would raise the pressure on companies to reduce their emissions.
What’s the “right” price for a certificate?
It’d be a price that motivates businesses to reduce emissions and/or invest in climate friendly technology. For some companies this might start at 15 Euros a ton, fro others it may be closer to 25 Euros. So, here is no single “right” price.
DateFebruary 9, 2013
Tagscertificate, climate change, CO2, emission, emission certificate, emissions trading, green economy, low price
Limy stars to save coastlines in a warming world
Remember our Facebook-series on animals threatened by climate change? Here is some good news: There are also a few species that benefit from climate change. One of these is a special kind of protozoa – so called Foraminifera. Not only that, the fact they are thriving on a warmer climate also benefits humans and the planet as a whole.
There are about 10.000 different species of Foraminifera, all of them covered with a lime shell. They live mainly along the coastlines of Somalia, Kenia, Tansania, Mosambique, South Africa, Namibia and Angola. Though some of them are really tiny – even smaller than a sand grain – they perform enormous tasks: “Foraminifera are ecosystem engineers,” says Martin Langer, Professor at the the Steinmann-Institut for geology, mineralogy and paleontology at the University of Bonn. “With their shells, these protozoa produce up to two kilograms of calcium carbonate per square meter of ocean floor. This often makes them – after corals – the most important producers of sediment in tropical reef areas.”
Foraminifera to replace corals
This becomes important in a warming world. Corals have trouble handling warmer and more acidic oceans: their skeletons dissolve, corals die. And with disappears the habitat they provide for small fish and other aquatic species. What’s more, as whole reefs disintegrate they can no longer stabilize and protect coastlines from flooding.
This is where the Foraminifera come in: It’s not only that more acidic oceans won’t harm their skeletons. They thrive on warm water of at least 14 degrees celsius. Plus, warmer water temperatures make them spread, the research team around Martin Langer now found out: If ocean temperatures rise by about 2.5 degrees Celsius on average until 2100, Foraminifera are predicted to expand their habitat by almost 300 kilometres in latitude towards the poles.
Hope from the past
Researchers hope Foraminifera might take over the protection task of corals by stabilizing coastlines with their limy skeletons. This hope is at least supported by history, says Langer: “The fossil record shows that whenever during the history of Earth the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere was considerably higher and the oceans were clearly warmer, foraminifera were among the most frequently occurring carbonate producers in tropical oceans.”
DateFebruary 7, 2013
Tagsacidification, CO2, coastline protection, coastlines, corals, foraminifera, global warming, ocean, threat
You might know the situation when politicians are talking and you are just wondering, whether the “facts” they name are actually true and how they fit into a larger context? That’s how we felt, when we read the statements of US presidential candidates during the pre-election period concerning climate change. It’s custom that candiates are asked 14 questions from American scientific community and one of those questions always addresses climate change (which wasn’t really subject to election campaigns). This year the question for re-elected President Barack Obama and his rival Mitt Romney was the following:
The Earth’s climate is changing and there is concern about the potentially adverse effects of these changes on life on the planet. What is your position on cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, and other policies proposed to address global climate change—and what steps can we take to improve our ability to tackle challenges like climate change that cross national boundaries?
As the US are economically and environmentally quite powerful country, it really matters what the future president’s standing is. So we grabbed three statements of each candidate and had a look what’s behind it.
DateNovember 8, 2012
TagsBarack Obama, climate change, CO2, election2012, emissions, global warming, investment, Mitt Romney, renewable energy
The Amazon rainforest is spread out over nine national states of the South American continent. As trees bind carbon dioxide (CO2), the Amazon forest plays a crucial role in climate protection measures. Home to 60 percent of the world’s rainforest area, Brazil contains the largest part of this precious ecosystem.
GLOBAL IDEAS asked Brazilian forest activist Pedro Soares to write a guest article for our blog. Pedro stresses that we can only protect the Amazon by providing an adequate income to those living in the forest.
By Pedro Soares
The Brazilian Amazon area covers about 50 percent of Brazil’s territory. That is a total an area of 4,196,943 square kilometers.
The biggest stock of tropical forest in the world has always been seen as a barrier to regional economic development. In fact, deforestation occurs mainly due to an economic rationale: the forest does not provide sufficient income for landowners and forest dwellers, when compared to the income they could obtain for more profitable activities such as logging, agriculture or cattle ranching. But the lack of an economic value for the stand forest is the main caveat towards the promotion of forest conservation policies and programs.
DateAugust 10, 2012
TagsAmazon, americas, Brazil, carbon dioxide, climate, climate change, CO2, idesam, latin america, pedro soares, rainforest, REDD, rio de janeiro, Rio+20, South America
Take a deep breath in Laos
As a Journalist from Berlin, traffic in Asian cities is usually quite chaotic and for foreigners mostly an adventure. In Mumbai, India crossing a street could be a struggle of survival as one has to pass a mixture of motorbikes, cars, cows and rikshas. It’s the same in Bangkok,Thailand – just without cows. The worst about the traffic is not the chaos, it’s the pollution. The air people inhale is filled with dust, it sticks on the skin and it is also full of emissions polluting the air.
In Laos, the chaos has not arrived yet. The streets of its capital Vientiane are quiet and mostly empty. There are just a few bikes, scooters or motorbikes – sometimes a car. That keeps the CO2-emission low: 2010 Laos emitted a little more than 1,5 million tons, the United States for example 5,7 billion tons. Another reason is, that Laos has no heavy industry. But it would be a mistake to think of Laos as climate-friendly country where everyone could take a deep breath of clean air. Because it is not people’s climate-awareness that makes Laos climate friendly. The reason is the poverty of the country. The Human Development Index lists Laos as a one of the poorest countries in the world. People just can´t effort a car.
DateDecember 19, 2011