Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Carbon Emissions Reduction - It's Easy

David Birley's video shows how easy it is to reduce global carbon emission credits.

When David Birley from InfoExpress heard about Climakind he was completely taken by the simplicity and effectiveness of the idea. So taken that he went back to his office and created the ‘It’s Easy’ video. The video captures the attention and amazes the senses, all while showing how easy it is to reduce carbon emission credits through Climakind – that’s what I call information express!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A well designed framework to reduce emissions | Part 1 - Quality Credits

In this series we will look at what is really necessary to have a successful Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) . The ETS has been the focus of a lot of negative press recently. However, it is not the ETS which is the problem. Like any solution it is the design which is important. What credits are included, who is directly included (those that must comply), the targets and the timing are all key issues.

In Part 1 we will look at a key area of a well designed ETS - the quality of the credits included in the scheme.

This is probably the most important area of design. What we must ensure is that the quality of emissions reduction remains high. How do you measure carbon emission quality? Let's have a look...

When it comes to carbon credits, quality can be determined by the ability to demonstrate that the resulting reduction of carbon emissions is genuine, that is, it must be verifiable, measurable and additional.

Carbon credits in a compliance-regulated Emissions Trading Scheme offer emissions reduction that is robust and verifiable. The credits are easily measured and make additional cuts in emissions beyond agreed targets. Buying and cancelling credits ensures the carbon dioxide they represent will never be emitted.

This is proactive carbon emissions reduction – the emissions never occur. As opposed to projects that sequester carbon dioxide – which are reactive because the carbon has already been released.

At the same time your efforts help drive investment in low-carbon solutions because there are fewer credits available. In the long run, it helps ensure low-carbon solutions become more economically attractive – the only way to a sustainable future.

We need proactive emissions reduction

Carbon Emissions

Some politicians do not seem to understand. We need real carbon emissions reduction, not some cover-up. All the talk about forestation and land use change is not solving the real problem, our reliance on fossil fuels. Sure we can do with more trees because of the carbon they take out of the atmosphere, but this bio-sequestration is reactive. It encourages the carbon emissions to occur and then deals with them.

We need to be proactive! We need a way to wean ourselves off fossil fuels – a way to make low-carbon solutions economically attractive. We need a well designed framework to reduce carbon emissions - one that achieves strong targets and provides for economic stability and growth.

Every scheme has advantages and disadvantages, be it a tax, a cap & trade, an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), or a cap & dividend. However there is one little discussed and very powerful advantage of an ETS, it allows individuals and organisations to directly interact and help force deep cuts in carbon emissions. Companies such as Climakind.com provide an interface to buy and cancel carbon credits on an ETS. The cancelled credits are removed from ever being used to emit carbon dioxide! At the same time your efforts help drive investment in low-carbon solutions – the only way to a sustainable future.

Climate change or not we need an ETS to reduce our dependence on oil before it becomes scarce. The additional benefit of investment in low-carbon solutions reduces pollution. It is a win-win scenario.

Contributed by: Michael Salvatico

Image credit: Codo via Flickr Creative Commons.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ian Plimer the question evader

The Plimer-Monbiot debate finally took place last night. The baby gloves were taken off and insults flowed freely from Plimer. Even the Lateline host, Tony Jones, was not safe from Plimer.

In the end the basis of Ian Plimer's book was put into serious question by George Monbiot. Monbiot asked very straight forward questions based on claims in Plimer's book and references to those claims. Plimer did not answer one question in a 24 minute interview. He uses every technique possible to avoid a straightforward answer.

Monbiot claims that Plimer's book is "filled with fabrication after fabrication, simple untruths repeated again and again".

References from Plimer's book that he could not support include:

  1. Plimer's claim that volcanoes produce more carbon dioxide than humans, though US Geological Survey shows that human being produce 130 times more carbon dioxide than volcanoes.
  2. Plimer's claim that the Hadley Centre in the UK has shown that warming stoped in 1998. He could not give the exact reference to this otherwise unknown claim.
  3. Plimer's mis-quotation of the Charles Keller research. In effect Plimer turns the conclusion that temperatures have risen recently 180 degrees and claims they have not!
Monbiot labels Plimer as a question evader when he concludes that the debate has been "a fascinating exercise in evasion and distraction." Monbiot like the rest of us asks why won't professor plimer ever answer a simple question?

See the video of the Lateline interview.

Photo credits: Lateline

Support a framework to reduce emissions!

The more people that join Climakind the greater the influence we have to ensure the Government implements a well designed ETS in February 2010.

  • Show your support for a framework to reduce pollution
  • Strengthen the impact of the ETS to reduce carbon emissions
  • Make meaningful cuts in carbon emissions
As John Connor chief executive of the Climate Institute said in response to the rejected Australian ETS “It’s difficult to see what option there is to avoid another 12 months or more of political squabbling and scaremongering…”; Sydney Morning Herald, December 3, 2009, page 8.

Your action can make a difference

Think Climate Change - Be Climakind

Monday, December 7, 2009

Climate or Not - Reduce Emissions

A friend of mine made a great point in a post on climate change science; there is more to reducing carbon emissions than reacting to global warming.

As the global population grows and easy-to-access oil becomes scarce we will be forced to rethink our consumption habits - especially our consumption of energy.

Rather than wait until the last minute we should act now to wean ourselves off fossil fuels. The benefits are clear. Investing in low-carbon solutions now means we have increasingly efficient fossil-fuel-alternatives - just as oil become increasing rare. At the same time low-carbon solutions reduce pollution in the local community. It's win-win for everyone on the planet!

Here are the points my friend (Mr M.Heffernan) makes that inspired this post.

1. There will be more people on the planet tomorrow than there were today. Never in the history of our planet have tomorrow's number of people attempted to live on earth at the same time.

2. We are sitting on a finite amount of water and, to a certain extent, soil.

3. We all have an impact on the environment by our very existence. After all, why feel guilty for enjoying ourselves while we are here?

4. Given an increasing population and finite resources, attempting to pollute less would seem logical

5. We could all pollute less by consuming less stuff.

Think about it this way. In 1800 the world's population was about 1 billion people; 210 years later the worlds popultion is almost 7 billion. It is estimated the poplution will increase by almost two billion people in the next 40 years to 8.9 billion people - UN Release.

It is pretty simple, and it might just save the world as we know it for future generations.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Distractions to a Carbon Solution

The latest video from the Story of Stuff team slams the ETS as a failure to reduce carbon emissions and a capitalist ploy to get rich. But is it really all that bad? Below is my reply to the video which you can see on here.

Dear Annie

Distraction? It appears your video is a distraction. For while you proceed to highlight all the possible negatives of an ETS, your solution (after nine minutes of watching) is an ETS.

And you have to listen closely to hear the solution because it is only quickly mentioned. The alternatives of solid caps, strong laws, citizen action, and carbon fees – sounds like a well designed ETS to me.

In a way you are right, like anything, the ETS must be well designed to work, but you could have said that in 30 seconds. And that would have just been repeating the work of Garnaut and Stern.

You are wrong in saying no ETS has worked. The EU ETS reduced carbon emissions by 3.1 per cent in 2008 while global levels increased 1.9 per cent. This is not made clear in the video and nor in the notes where Gar Lipow shrugs it off.

The UNFCCC created the CDM to give the developing world the same opportunities to grow that the developed world had without the carbon emissions. It helps drive research and investment in low-carbon solutions! The only way to a sustainable future.

Sure label me as a business man; the story seems to have it in for anyone in the business of carbon. But you are really pointing the finger at the wrong person. Business would not exist if customers were not there to buy. Yes, it is consumers who demand the cheap goods created by using fossil fuels. This is recognised by Climate Justice Action groups’ initiatives in the notes.

The real truth is that we have to change our lifestyle to reduce our consumption of energy. Unfortunately for a lot of people that doesn’t happen until the price of energy rises. Once it costs more, we make an effort to stop our energy bills from rising by reducing our energy demand.

The world has been working on a global solution for 17 years. We are almost there. A framework to reduce carbon is better than nothing. Because nothing is what we have if we do not find a solution quickly.

Australia has gone from a possible target of 25 per cent reduction by 2020 under the Rudd-Turnbull discussions to potentially no agreement whatsoever. In response to the rejected Australian ETS John Connor, chief executive of the Climate Institute said “It’s difficult to see what option there is to avoid another 12 months or more of political squabbling and scaremongering…”; Sydney Morning Herald, December 3, 2009, page 8.

We should balance all the shortcomings of the ETS with the benefits of a global initiative to reduce carbon emissions.

In fact Annie, like me some people may question your motivation and involvement with fossil fuel businesses that benefit from no carbon action – because your distraction from a solution benefits them most!

Michael Salvatico