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EU emissions: Carbon credits undercut climate change reductions

In the latest dispatch from the tragi-comic farce that is the EU’s emissions trading scheme the BBC reports on what many already suspected: the vast majority of carbon credits generated by Russia and Ukraine did not represent cuts in emissions. That means the credits may have increased emissions by 600 million tonnes.

“If you produced more greenhouse gases only to destroy them and generate more carbon credits, you would essentially be damaging the climate for profit,” said Lambert Schneider, an SEI associate and co-author of the study to be published in Nature. This’ll do nothing much for the EU’s negotiating position come the climate summit in December.

US renewables: Obama looks to boost renewable energy use

Over in the US President Obama continued his pre-climate summit enthusiasm for climate action with a push for greater renewable energy adoption, announcing fresh financial incentives for solar power development and use – Reuters reports.

The steps include an additional $1 billion in loan guarantees for new research projects and near-term savings for homeowners using renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. Forbes notes the US loan programme has made $30 billion in totalcommitments over the years to get new nuclear, solar and wind projects built, or new green technologies from big companies like Nissan or smaller companies like Tesla. Many of the very large solar panel projects built in the deserts of California and Nevada made use of these loans.

EU energy: Renewables push hits big energy players, closes plants & costs money

The FT reports that for suppliers of equipment and services to the conventional power industry based on coal and gas such as Siemens, the pain of Germany’s energy transition is really starting to mount. Orders and profit margins are falling, triggering restructuring and job cuts.

The news comes as Germany’s DW notes that fifty-seven traditional gas and coal power plants are set to close in Germany as a consequence of Energiewende, or energy transition, which has diminished the profitability of operating non-renewable power plants.

Of course this does come at a price. A somewhat sceptical pro-business German lobby group estimates that’s around 28bn Euros, or 270 euros a year for the average household and called for the government to re-think the policy. The story continues.

In other news

India coal to gas: Indian coal firm Adani, already loathed by NGO’s the world over for backing giant mine projects, is now looking to invest in a coal gasification project. The potentially very significant move will come with far higher emissions than either conventional coal or gas burning.

Renewables snippits: An island in Spain is 100% renewable. El Hierro, the smallest region of the Canary Islands, is said to be the first isolated region in the planet to become completely green.