After my earlier pessimistic post (at least it was for green campaigners and those in low-carbon energy production) on the hopes of setting a high and stable carbon price, there is a very different message in a report from The Climate Institute in Australia.
It claims that the UK leads the field in incentivising low-carbon technologies, and that the government’s policies have led to an implied carbon price of $28 per tonne.
If so, that is higher than the €15 a tonne at which carbon is currently trading, but nowhere near the €80 and €90 the industry says is needed.
I won’t repeat the report in full, but this graphic is very interesting:
Bob Dudley has been addressing the CBI today, making his first speech outside BP since becoming CEO last month.
His tone was humble and gracious. He said:
So it’s a pleasure as well as an honour to be invited to speak with you today.
It’s also humbling, not least because of the circumstances in which I stepped into this role – a tragic accident in which 11 people lost their lives and an oil spill that has impacted livelihoods, businesses and the environment.
But his message was essentially robust: we are not budging, either from the US or deepwater in general.
The British government has finally announced what we have known for a while: that it will keep in place the £60m of investment pledged by the last government to improve infrastructure for offshore wind.
David Cameron told the CBI annual conference:
To help secure private sector investment in this technology, we’re providing up to £60 million to meet the needs of offshore wind infrastructure at our ports. And to help move things forward, the Crown Estate will also work with interested ports and manufacturers to realise the potential of their sites.
It’s a triple win. It will help secure our energy supplies, protect our planet and the Carbon Trust says it could create 70,000 jobs.
China suffered its largest-ever oil spill in July and the danger it poses has not yet gone away: problems flared up again at the weekend when an oil tank caught on fire during ongoing cleanup efforts at the Xingang port in Dalian.
The newspaper headlines and front-page images of the inferno blaze, which was put out Sunday night, have brought the disaster back into public view. And for some in China, the public attention will be welcome.
Nearby fisherman who have been unable to work since the oil spill have yet to receive any compensation after attempting several lawsuits, and media attention on their cause is on the wane.
Last week I wrote that one of the areas of complete agreement at a debate during the European Future Energy Forum had been the need for a high and stable carbon price to incentivise low carbon energy production. But I added that nobody knew how to bring it about.
During that debate, the foreign office minister Lord Howell said:
The government has got to keep its nerve and do some brave things which are highly unpopular and likely to lose nice votes. This is getting if anything more difficult, as gas gets very cheap, and the gap with renewables widens. We need to get costs down and carbon price up.
This resolution to make a potentially unpopular move will be tested on Wednesday evening. That is when the big six British energy companies, including Centrica, EDF and Scottish Power, will warn Chris Huhne over dinner that the government’s proposed carbon floor price is not going to achieve much.