JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Ocean of climate money dries up. (But millions still paid to bored staff.)

I say, it’s lucky people who want to save the planet do it for the love of it:

National Post:  The Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has helped funnel almost $400-billion into emission-cutting projects in developing countries by allowing investors to earn carbon credits they can sell to companies and governments of richer nations that use them to meet emission targets.

I imagine they love $400 billion too.

This was just one branch of the great green-industrial-machine. (And yet skeptics are winning, she says wickedly, with hardly any money).

But those halcyon days are gone for the CDM — what was $30 per ton, is now 30c.

From 2003, developers flocked to register projects such as destroying heat-trapping waste gasses at Chinese chemical plants or installing hydroelectric power stations in Brazil, and made huge profits by selling the resulting carbon credits for up to $30.40 a tonne in 2008.

But interest has waned while countries wrangled over setting new emission goals under the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), hammering credit prices down to unprofitable levels below $0.30.

There’s a tiny $200 million or so left ticking over in the accounts:

The latest UN financial statements show [...]

UN $315 billion CDM carbon market comatose after Warsaw. It may last years

More good news.

The CDM is one of the only truly global carbon markets. It’s been the main mechanism for “mitigation” in developing countries, (China says “thank you”). Born with the Kyoto agreement, it was in a sick state last year and was even said to have collapsed. Now however it’s reached a state of “coma”.

Each CDM was worth 20 euros in 2008. Now they are selling for 50c.

Reuters: Investment under the U.N.’s $315 billion Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has ground to a halt as the value of the credits they generate has plunged 95 percent in five years to around 0.30 euros, crushing profits that investors count on to set up carbon-cutting schemes in the developing world.

“As a tradable commodity, it’s in a coma and will be unless and until a 2015 agreement wakes it up,” said Jorund Buen, co-founder and partner at consultancy and project developer Differ.

A lot of things could be said about the last UNFCCC meeting in Warsaw. Here’s the one that matters:

“…no major nation offered to set or deepen emission targets, while Japan scaled down its 2020 goal.”

The language of death:

“…almost 200 nations “expressed concern” over the state [...]

More signposts on the road to the post-Climate-scare world

Not so long back, Deutsche Bank were writing 50 page reports on the science of climate change. They paid for giant 70 foot high towers of doom counting carbon emissions near Madison Square Gardens. They were so concerned about the planet they had a division called Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors (DBCCA). They weren’t driven by money, of course, only by the science.

“…we at Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors (DBCCA) have always said that the science is one essential foundation of the whole climate change investment thesis.”

But the science must have changed for DB because now they don’t even turn up:

Banks, investors desert key carbon market event

BARCELONA, June 1  – Governments and voluntary offset sellers took centre stage at a major carbon market conference in Barcelona this week after banks and investors – previously amongst the biggest exhibitors at the annual event – skipped it, in part due to rock-bottom CO2 prices.

The annual Carbon Expo trade fair is seen by many as a barometer for investment and general sentiment in the global carbon markets, many of which are plagued with regulatory uncertainty and withering demand.

Corruption for dinner anyone? The Carbon Market Scandal

Thanks to Down To Earth Magazine. Author: DIVYA

All round the world thousands of greenonomists recommend a “free market solution” to our so called pollution problem. But as I keep saying: this “free market” isn’t free. It’s a pale pathetic imitation: a “managed market”.

In Europe, if a factory produces CO2 (what factory doesn’t?) it can pay people in China and India to not produce an-equivalent-amount-of-CO2. Sounds sort of fine in intent except that paying people to not do something they were-going-to-do depends on knowing the future (and reminds us of a process known as extortion). That’s loophole number one. Officially it’s called “additionality”, which is a fancy way of saying people wouldn’t do something-in-particular to reduce emissions unless they got paid in carbon credits.

The Chinese and Indians, not being stupid, immediately gamed the system. Why wouldn’t they?

The irony of unintended consequences. Here’s how it goes: HFC-23 is the godfather of greenhouse gases: it’s 11,700 times as powerful at warming as CO2 is. The chemical makers are paid as much as $100,000 in carbon credits  for every ton they destroy… Suddenly making-and-then-destroying HFC-23 is very valuable business, so people rush to fill this “demand”. HFC-23 is a [...]