Global warming and peak oil

Is peak oil good news or bad news? Much depends on your perspective. The gloomier prognostications about peak oil – living in a world where oil supplies are limited and expensive – suggest that it will be a bigger problem than climate change, and arrive sooner. On the other hand, if we’re forced to cut back on our usage of oil and gas as fuel for energy and transport, we might have a better chance of stabilising atmospheric carbon dioxide at levels low enough to limit the damage from climate change. The IPCC’s high-end scenarios typically assume that there’s plenty of fossil fuel – coal, oil and gas – to get us to double pre-industrial concentrations and beyond. What happens if the oil runs out?

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The pukeko bites back

Genesis Energy are going to the High Court to see if they can overturn a case that Greenpeace won against Mighty River Power. Greenpeace are not pleased:

“If Genesis wins this case it could remove the only legal control on polluters’ greenhouse gas emissions. This means that any climate polluting projects (such as Genesis’ forthcoming Rodney gas proposal) could go through the consent process without climate change being considered at all.

$275 million for carbon farming in NZ

According to the Herald, Credit Suisse and Sustainable Forestry Management (SFM), a London-based ethical investment fund, have got US$200 million to invest in permanent forests in New Zealand. They want to farm carbon:

“We have the equity capital lined up,

NZ Windfarms $75m share offer oversubscribed

The Press reports that NZ Windfarms is having no trouble finding investors for a new share issue:

“Chairman Derek Walker said a 40 per cent oversubscription – excluding a cornerstone stake taken by electricity network company Vector and a pool of shares for existing shareholders – meant that demand from institutions would be scaled back.

Global carbon trading triples to US$30bn

The World Bank reports that global trading in carbon credits tripled last year to US$30bn, with the European market accounting for $25bn. $5bn was spent on emissions reductions in developing countries. The booming market, and tightening supply of credits in the European market prompts the Independent (UK) to caution that demand might exceed supply by the end of the Kyoto commitment period in 2012, forcing prices up. Credits are currently trading around E20 (NZ$37).