6 minute read

COP21 Tuesday summary

Tim Nelson
Tim Nelson
09 December 2015

Had a very informative day on Tuesday. It seems to me that the measures of success in Paris will be related to: the existing INDCs (i.e. individual national targets) - at last count there are 186 countries that have submitted targets covering 94% of global emissions; the overarching agreement and its ability to have ratcheting mechanisms whereby individual national targets can be reviewed periodically and increased where necessary; the financing package whereby wealthier countries can assist the least developed countries; and the actions of states/cities and businesses.

I was fortunate to attend a briefing by the UNFCCC and former US Vice-President Al Gore. Other attendees included the CEO's of Michelin and BG Group and the Premiers of Ontario and South Australia. Importantly, a point was made around the inevitability of some form of carbon price implemented nationally (and possibly linked through bilateral/multilateral arrangements implemented underneath the Paris agreement) through one of three mechanisms: a carbon tax; an emissions trading scheme; or implicitly through regulation. My most recent paper explores these thoughts so I found the session very interesting.

South Australia launched its own Climate Strategy last night. It is targeting Adelaide becoming the first carbon neutral city by 2025. At present it is tendering for the Government's power to be sourced from innovative renewable solutions and conducting an Expression of Interest (EOI) for making its 7,500 car fleet renewable.

I was fortunate to meet with GE's Global Head of Renewables and also heard about other energy businesses talking about the inevitability of energy-only markets requiring complementary policy or adjustments to market design to make new investments in modern renewables and complementary technology (e.g. OCGT, batteries) possible.