April 17 News: EU Votes To Weaken Its Own Carbon Market

Britain and Italy voted with countries in Eastern Europe to halt plans to try to save the EU carbon market by stopping the downward progression of carbon permit prices. [Guardian, New York Times, AP, Reuters]

The EU’s flagship scheme for cutting carbon emissions suffered one of the most serious setbacks in its chequered history on Tuesday, when MEPs voted against a proposal to shore up the price of carbon in the emissions trading scheme.

The proposed reform – known as “backloading” — aimed to reverse the plummeting price of carbon that has resulted from a surplus of permits in the ETS market. If successful, the reform would have resulted in the postponement of a series of auctions of carbon permits.

But MEPs voted 334 against the reform, with 315 in favour, leading green campaigners to condemn the defeat as a “monumental failure” to mend the carbon trading market, which is Europe’s flagship climate policy and the biggest in the world. “They have lost all credibility on climate leadership,” said Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK’s chief scientist.

A subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday passed a bill that would bypass President Obama’s authority to approve or deny the Keystone tar sands pipeline. [The Hill]

Senator Ron Wyden’s former Chief of Staff will now be lobbying for ExxonMobil. [The Hill]

Germany set a country and world record by producing 22.2 GW at noon on Monday, which is amazing in that it’s not amazing — it’s routine for Germany to produce 15-20 MW through their strong solar capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Germany also installed 775 MW of solar PV in the first quarter of this year. [CleanTechnica]

The International Energy Agency said the world has not made enough progress toward reducing the carbon intensity of its energy capacity. [Wall Street Journal, Reuters]

10 energy efficient spring cleaning tips. [Alliance to Save Energy]

More than 1 million solar panel systems have been installed in Australia, constituting 11.5 percent of all dwellings. [Renew Economy]

Toyota announced global sales of hybrid vehicles like the Prius topped 5 million. [Washington Post]

Indian cities are cutting their electricity bills in half by switching to LED streetlights. [Climate Group]

The first device powered by tidal energy in the U.S. has improved and is happily spinning away under the waves off the coast of Maine. [EarthTechling]

Batteries measured in millimeters developed by researchers at the University of Illinois seem to be the most powerful ever created. [CleanTechnica]

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said progress on climate change should be as critical for national Republicans as gay rights and immigration, and pointed to successes at the state level. [The Hill]

Former VP Al Gore said in Ireland that climate denial enables us to continue “sleepwalking towards the edge of the cliff.” [Irish Times]

Sequestration threatens an important meteorological training program on which pilots, emergency managers, and meteorologists rely. [Washington Post]

The New York Times, which dismantled its environmental desk last year, looks at the business model of Pulitzer winner InsideClimate News. [New York Times]

16 Responses to April 17 News: EU Votes To Weaken Its Own Carbon Market

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    Cap and trade was invented as a way to get the market involved in carbon emissions, but devolved into a wealth transfer to banks and speculators. It has been rife with phony carbon credits and easy scores for suits in New York and London.

    Time to ditch carbon “markets”, and institute carbon taxes instead. That way, consumers will make wiser decisions, and whether fee and dividend or simple return to the Treasury the nonproductive vulture banking sector will keep their hands to themselves.

    Of all the horrible decisions Obama has made, calling carbon taxes “off the table” is his worst. It pleased Koch and Peabody, though.

  2. prokaryotes says:

    Cooking the Books: The True Climate Impact of Keystone XL

    A new report out today from environmental groups shows that the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would, if approved, be responsible for at least 181 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) each year, comparable to the tailpipe emissions from more than 37.7 million cars or 51 coal-fired power plants.

  3. Umlud says:

    Just a comment about the map:

    That isn’t a map of EU countries. Even at first glance, it should be obvious, because the EU is not all of Western Europe. Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Belarus, and Ukraine, should not be shown with their flags, but should be greyed out. (And Russia – shown in Kaliningrad – should definitely not be there, either…)

    A better map would be something like:

  4. catman306 says:

    Thank you!

  5. prokaryotes says:

    My website is online again. I plan a new front (wordpress), to be launched around 1st may week.

  6. prokaryotes says:


    Very good essay on the medium we all use so much.

    The Internet is a surveillance state

  7. Ed Leaver says:

    Though discouraging, I do not believe “off the table” were the President’s exact words. More like We would never propose a carbon tax”. Bernie Sanders and Barbara Boxer, on the other hand, just might.

  8. Merrelyn Emery says:

    The EU decision has terrible implications for Australia too. Who needs a denier Opposition when we have our friends in the EU to stuff it up for us? I knew an ETS was the wrong way to go, and politicians have proven again that they are as untrustworthy as markets. Back to the drawing board, I hope, ME

  9. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It’s a wish-map, of the ‘Atlanticist Empire’ that will not, now, come into being, to the neo-cons’ dismay.

  10. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Demand a cell with off-white walls!

  11. Colorado Bob says:

    MR –
    I know a woman who thinks Obama bombed Boston.

  12. Colorado Bob says:

    So think about this list of record book rewriting.
    A. Sept. 2012 the greatest melt in the Arctic for several thousand years.
    B. March 2013 the lowest AO Index in 63 years.
    C. Jan.- Apr. The driest period in a 163 year record in San Francisco.
    This is like sitting in the front seat with James Dean, & the car is picking up speed.

  13. Colorado Bob says:

    All this means the young woman at Rugters has a strong case.
    Under her thinking the jet stream turns into paint drips. Not a flowing wave, with low crests that move smartly around the Earth . But a flowing snake , with deep coils, that moves very slowly.

  14. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The repetition of the pattern of terrorist atrocity then poisoned letters delivered to politicians is kinda strange don’t you think? If it is revealed that an ‘anti-terrorist’ exercise was also in progress at the same time, a la 9/11 and 7/7 in London, I’ll be quite dumbfounded.

  15. prokaryotes says:

    The entire northern hemispheric weather is affected and you won’t read anything in the news about it …