Friday roundup

PolarbearThe 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 “remarkable

The business of climate change

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.

Cranky about the ETS

 Wp-Content Uploads 2007 08 HomerOur 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, “€œchairman 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 “€œIs your carbon tax really necessary?”

“€œIf 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, “€œchairman 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)…

Continue reading “Cranky about the ETS”

Tech to the rescue

Just found this Herald piece by Anthony Duesberg, based on an interview I gave before heading off to China. He wanted to explore the “technology to the rescue

ETS reactions #1

NzetsReaction to the emissions trading scheme (ETS) has not been slow coming in, and so far the government seems to have pulled off a remarkable balancing act, gaining at least grudging support from most quarters. Bill English was quick to say that the ETS looked “broadly sound