South Korea: The emerging carbon market in South Korea is set to be the most ambitious and comprehensive system established so far. According to a white paper released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, it will cover 70% of the country’s emissions, double that of the EU and Australian set-ups. The country has a 30% reduction target by 2020. The market is expected to launch in 18 months with a far higher price per tonne of CO2 emissions than the struggling EU platform. (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)
Shipping: Governments are backtracking on efforts to introduce a market based mechanism to reduce emissions in the shipping sector. The UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is hosting a meeting that was expected to launch efforts to assess the available options.
After the first day of the week-long event the focus was shifting on reinforcing existing energy efficiency measures, led by a proposal by the USA.
The opening address of the talks by IMO Secretary General Koji Sekimizu failed to mention climate change or the possibility of carbon markets.
EU: Europe is facing a lost decade of climate action and energy investment that will leave it with a huge bill as it attempts to rapidly decarbonise before 2050’s target to reduce emissions by 80%. Eurelectric, the association of European electricity producers warned that inaction could cost 2% of GDP every year until 2050. (EurActiv)
UNDP: Helen Clark, the head of the UN Development Programme has warned that governments must make the long-awaited breakthrough in the climate change negotiations before 2015. “The international community has not been very good on agreeing on the solutions. We haven’t got the breakthrough yet. We need that breakthrough; we need it in 2015,” she told Deutsche Welle. “If we tackle climate, we actually tackle a very wide range of these huge issues on the environment.” (Deutsche Welle)
EU: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told a sustainability conference in Berlin that the country is in talks with Poland about a new CO2 reduction target for the EU. Merkel said she is confident that the EU can agree a new target to boost the current goal of 20% by 2020. Poland is wary of signing up to stronger action that could prove punitive to its carbon intensive economy. (Bloomberg)
China: Researchers in China have found that rapid urbanisation in Eastern China has played a large part in regional surface warming. Writing in the China Science Bulletin, the team found that urbanisation was inducing heightened summer warming in the Yangtze river delta region. (UPI)