Our World On Climate Change

There is great debate globally as the necessity and validity of carbon pricing schemes with many countries putting the topic on the back burner in favour of localised solutions.

In Australia, many state governments began implementing renewable energy targets and by mid-2006 Prime Minister John Howard had designed a national scheme.

The photovoltaic (PV) solar industry was preparing to boom with an $8000 rebate for customers and solar hot-water prospects were also good with Malcolm Turnbull announcing a $1000 rebate.

Most states had introduced five-star energy efficiency rating standards for homes and Victoria was in the process of introducing an energy efficiency target.

2006 also saw Prime Minister John Howard announce a plan to price carbon emissions, or as it is now commonly referred a carbon tax.

International media was putting climate change in the spot light through never before seen rhetoric.

Effective communication from climate change leaders such as Al Gore and Tim Flannery had emotionally hit audiences and awakened them to how serious and pressing a problem climate change was.

During this same time the US was echoing economic conditions of the 1929 market crash and subsequent Great Depression.

President Obama’s inauguration came at a time when real-estate markets were plummeting, big banks were on the brink of failure and customers were withdrawing mass funds for fear of a collapse.

Consequently climate change dropped down the priority list for American voters and government alike.

At the same time the effectiveness operational carbon pricing schemes to drive investment into clean energy was destroyed.

In 2006 the European carbon price plummeted as industrial emitters reduced output.

First it dropped in half from around €40 (approximately $A50) over 2008 to €20 from 2009 to 2011.

The price again fell to between €6 to €8 ($A7.50 – $10) on fears of debt default by European governments.

Such a price will do little to drive a switch out of coal into gas, let alone a shift towards very low carbon technology, including carbon capture and storage.

The market for UN carbon credits from developing countries (CERs) is now little more than a joke, trading around $1.25.

Due to unconstrained international linking, the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme has gone down with it, with permits changing hands at around $2.

With the worlds developed economies stagnating, politicians are reluctant to make the kind of changes required for a carbon price to represent a credible signal for investors to shift towards low carbon assets.

Instead it will be down to other measures like renewable energy and energy efficiency support policies to fill the breach in each country, state, city and town.

The Author

Motivated and dynamic journalist with a strong interest in sustainable solar powered technology. My work in journalism and new media has provided me with a medium to produce content concerning emerging renewable energy.

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