The 2012 report for the joint green certificates market between Norway and Sweden is now available in English. This is the first report published jointly by the two national energy regulators. The joint market started its operation on 1 January 2012, while Sweden has been operating its national market since 2003. Check the document HERE. See previous posts on the green certificates market on this blog.
The French Constitutional Court delivered on 11 October 2013 its decision as regards the conformity of Law No. 2011-835 of 13 July 2011 with the French Constitution. The law introduced a ban on the exploration and exploitation of liquids and gaseous hydrocarbons by the means of hydraulic fracturing. The law also repealed the research permits granted when such permits intended to use hydraulic fracturing. Therefore, the Dallas-based exploration company Schuepbach Energy LLC, which possessed two exploration permits, raised a question as to the conformity of the law with the Constitution. Importantly, the Constitutional Court backs the difference between hydraulic fracturing and the exploitation of geothermal resources, the latter being permitted.
The press release from the Constitutional Court is available here (in French).
Full text of the decision here.
A more detailed analysis will follow rapidly on this blog.
Working Group I of the United Nations International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) made public its contribution to the fifth Assessment Report (AR5) on 27 September 2013. WGI focuses on the physical science knowledge as to climate change. Hereafter follow some quotes directly from the report. Those underline the level of seriousness of climate change and the direct link to human activities.
- "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia."
- "In the Northern Hemisphere, 1983-2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years (medium confidence)."
- "Continental-scale surface temperature reconstructions show, with high confidence, multi-decadal periods during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (year 950-1250) that were in some regions as warm as in the late 20th century. These regional warm periods did not occur as coherently across regions as the warming in the 20th century (high confidence)."
- "It is virtually certain that the upper ocean (0-700 m) warmed from 1971 to 2010, and it likely warmed between the 1870s and 1971."
- "Over the last two decades, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass, glaciers have continued to shrink almost worldwide, and Arctic sea ice and Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover have continued to decrease in extent (high confidence)."
- "There is very high confidence that the extent of Northern Hemisphere snow cover has decreased since the mid-20th century."
- "There is high confidence that permafrost temperatures have increased in most regions since the early 1980s. Observed warming was up to 3C in parts of the Russian European North (1971-2010). In the latter region, a considerable reduction in permafrost thickness and areal extent has been observed over the period 1975-2005 (medium confidence)."
- "The rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century has been larger than the mean rate during the previous two millennia (high confidence)."
Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles
- "The atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) have all increased since 1750 due to human activity."
- "CO2 concentrations have increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, primarily from fossil fuel emissions and secondarily from net land use change emissions."
- "The ocean has absorbed about 30% of the emitted anthropogenic carbon dioxide, causing ocean acidification."
Recent Changes of Climate Change, Detection and Attribution
- "Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident from the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing, observed warming, and understanding of the climate system."
- "Human influence has been detected in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in the global water cycle, in reductions in snow and ice, in global mean sea level rise, and in changes in some climate extremes. This evidence for human influence gas grown since AR4. It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century."
Future Global and Regional Climate Change
- "Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause warming and changes in all components of the climate system."
- "The global ocean will continue to warm during the 21st century. Heat will penetrate from the surface to the deep ocean and affect ocean circulation."
- "Most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 are stopped."
Here is the timeline towards the completion of AR5 in its entirety:
- Working Group II - Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability : Yokohama, Japan, 25-29 March 2014
- Working Group III - Mitigation of Climate Change : Berlin, Germany, 7-11 April 2014
- Synthesis Report (SYR) : Copenhagen, Denmark, 27-31 October 2014
Website of the UN IPCC: http://www.ipcc.ch/
Website of Working Group I: http://www.climatechange2013.org/
WGI Contribution to AR5 - Climate Change 2013: The physical Science Basis
- Summary for Policy Makers: http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5-SPM_Approved27Sep2013.pdf
- Full report: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/#.UlG0XIY0R0Y
Today, 28 September 2013, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release its new assessment of the state of science as to climate change as well as scenarios for the future.
A good article and video have been posted on the CNN website:
Avisen Nationen henviste til mitt arbeid med elsertifikatordningen i en artikkel datert 29. august 2013. Saken gjelder mulighet til å utvide ordningen til småkraftverkprosjekter bygd ut mellom 2004 og 2009.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has released a new map of the Norwegian Continental Shelf updated as of 21 June 2013. The map includes all production licenses, name of the operators, transport system by type of fuel (oil, gas, oil and gas, condensate). The NPD has also released maps by sectors: The Barents Sea, The Norwegian Sea and the North Sea.
All maps available at: http://www.npd.no/en/Maps/Map-of-the-NCS/
The European Commission came on 29 July 2013 with an official statement denying any plan to "encourage or make state aid for nuclear power easier." This statement comes after several allusions to such projects in the press.
Read the full statement here.
A lot has been said and written on the Keystone pipeline multi-phase project which transports oil sand bitumen between Alberta, Canada, to the United States and ultimately to the Gulf Coast Area near Houston. The currently debated phases awaiting approval concern phases III and IV of the project (so-called "Keystone XL proposal"). Phases I and II are completed. Here follows a transcript of President Obama interview with the New York Times (NYT) realised on 24 July 2013, where he addressed the issue and summed up his last stance on the issue (underlinings are mine):
"NYT: Keystone pipeline -- Republicans especially talk about that as a big job creator. You've said that you would approve it only it you could be assured it would not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon in the atmosphere. Is there anything that Canada could do or the oil companies could do to offset that as a way of helping you to reach that decision?MR. OBAMA: Well, first of all, Michael, Republicans have said that this would be a big jobs generator. There is no evidence that that’s true. And my hope would be that any reporter who is looking at the facts would take the time to confirm that the most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline -- which might take a year or two -- and then after that we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 [chuckles] jobs in a economy of 150 million working people.
NYT: Yet there are a number of unions who want you to approve this.MR. OBAMA: Well, look, they might like to see 2,000 jobs initially. But that is a blip relative to the need.So what we also know is, is that that oil is going to be piped down to the Gulf to be sold on the world oil markets, so it does not bring down gas prices here in the United States. In fact, it might actually cause some gas prices in the Midwest to go up where currently they can’t ship some of that oil to world markets.Now, having said that, there is a potential benefit for us integrating further with a reliable ally to the north our energy supplies. But I meant what I said; I'm going to evaluate this based on whether or not this is going to significantly contribute to carbon in our atmosphere. And there is no doubt that Canada at the source in those tar sands could potentially be doing more to mitigate carbon release.NYT: And if they did, could that offset the concerns about the pipeline itself?MR. OBAMA: We haven't seen specific ideas or plans. But all of that will go into the mix in terms of John Kerry’s decision or recommendation on this issue.
After President Obama's speech on climate change policy on 25 June 2013 at Georgetown University, the Keystone XL pipeline is seen as the main test in applying this policy line. During his speech, the president notably said that:
"Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation's interest. [...] our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effects of the pipeline's impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward."
Several law suits (introduced by both oil refineries for contract breach and environmental organisations) are still opened against TransCanada Corporation which leads the project. The project has also undergone several environmental impact assessment including lastly the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) released in March 2013, which was less skeptical to the new route proposed for the pipeline..
More on the Keystone XL pipeline project: TransCanada website.
Source: Full interview is available on the NYT website.
Picture credits: Operational and Proposed route of the Keystone pipeline system, (c) Meclee