The Arctic sea ice has begun its autumn freeze after setting a new record for a summer low – a million square kilometres less than the previous record, set in 2005. The NSIDC updates are very interesting, while scientists working in the field described the summer as â€œremarkable
New York-based merchant bank Lehman Brothers have produced an excellent overview of the business and economics of climate change (PDF). If you have any interest in the economics of dealing with climate change, and want an informed overview of the drivers of political and commercial change, this is a very good place to start. I don’t agree with everything they have to say (they’re far too dismissive of electric vehicles, for instance – I reckon EVs have the potential be a disruptive technology), but the sectoral and country by country analysis of investment opportunities is fascinating, and their general take on the issue is very close to my own. From the conclusions:
The size of the carbon market globally, as measured by the value of permits issued, could, on a conservative estimate, be over $100bn by 2020 or thereabouts. This assumes that the United States, Japan, and China join the EU in moving to an emissions trading scheme covering around 50% of their total emissions. Annual turnover would be a multiple of that figure. This compares with the US Treasury market which currently stands around $2 trillion.
They put the chances of an international deal including China and India at 75% (up from 50% in an earlier report), and expect share prices to begin to track relative carbon intensity – with carbon-light companies doing better. Recommended reading.
Our little band of climate cranks couldn’t let an opportunity as big as the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme announcement pass by unremarked. And they didn’t. First out of the blocks was Bryan Leyland, “Â€Âœchairman of the economic panel of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition”, pre-empting the ETS announcement to complain about the government buying offsets for ministerial travel with a press release headed “Â€ÂœIs your carbon tax really necessary?”
“Â€ÂœIf there is no evidence of man-made warming in New Zealand – and in the world – this whole charade of cap and trade, and offsetting ministerial travel emissions, should cease forthwith before any more damage is done to our internationally fragile economy.”
Leyland’s views were echoed a couple of days later by a release from Owen McShane, “Â€Âœchairman of the policy panel of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition” (the NZ CSC appear to have enough panels to decorate a small stately home)…