At out of climate change
Politicians are beginning to think proactively about the carbon emissions produced at sites such as coal-fired power stations
Keep it cool Ice cream fans can now offset on the go
For those who want to offset their own carbon footprints, a technological breakthrough could make it as easy as tapping an app.
Within the next year, software developer Poseidon hopes to use blockchain to track precisely the carbon footprint of purchases and automatically funnel an offset charge to projects which boost sustainability.
Poseidon hopes that people will one day be able to check their carbon score the same way they might check their bank balance.
For now, ice cream lovers of carbon allowances to cover the greenhouse gas emissions they produce every year.
As the number of allowances shrinks with each successive phase, Europe’s most polluting companies have a clear incentive to invest in carbon-cutting today to avoid rising costs tomorrow.
As with any commodity, the health of the market depends on the balance between supply and demand.
Unlike physical commodities, the number of allowances to be bought and sold by the energy and manufacturing industries was decided in Brussels.
It was a calculation based on pre-crash economic activity which left a glut of allowances left over as economies contracted and industry slowed.
The price steadily fell from around €32 (£28) shortly after the market can offset the carbon intensity of their Ben & Jerry’s orders at its Wardour Street store in London’s Soho. For a couple of pence on top of the cost of a scoop customers can pay for the carbon credits equal to the climate impact of producing and selling the snack. The system works by assigning the carbon impact of each product with an optional carbon charge for the shopper.
These charges are added to the customer’s profile and the blockchain is updated with all the transaction details. The contributions are channelled to Ecosphere, which raises money to replace forests. Shoppers in Swansea’s Oxford Street; a £1.3bn City Deal aims to breathe fresh life into it through 11 major investments launched in 2006 to less than €3 by early 2013, amid widespread calls to scrap the scheme. Negotiations to agree an overhaul took years. Since Brussels intervened, prices have begun to rise again.
Last week, the European carbon market was just 11 cents shy of the €16.34/t set on June 9 2011. It is a pivotal turning point which the world is watching carefully.
Still, governments need to face realities if they are to close the gap between current price expectations and what’s needed to achieve the two degrees Paris goal.
The world’s existing carbon trading schemes cover only about half the emissions of each participating region, which translates to about 15pc of annual global greenhouse gas emissions.
The EU aims to cut emissions by 40pc against 1990 levels by 2030, but analysts at Carbon Tracker, a financial think-tank, calculate that a 55pc reduction is required to align with the Paris Agreement.
A fresh report from the body published earlier this year found that carbon prices would need to average €45-€55 per ton of carbon for a sustained period to drive coal and
‘Carbon pricing mechanisms with robust pricing levels are proving to be essential elements of the toolkit’