Sustainability Reads: December 1- December 7

California Cap-and-Trade Program and Quebec Cap-and-Trade System November 2014 Joint Auction #1
California and Quebec linked their cap-and-trade systems with the first joint auction of greenhouse gas allowances taking place on November 25, 2014. 23 million 2014 allowances were made available and sold. Almost 11 million were sold in an Advance Auction of 2017 allowances. Maximum price for 2014 allowance was $42.39, with a minimum price of $11.34, and a mean of $13.14. The linking of these two systems is the first cross border market in North America and we hope to see more.

Finance for Climate Action Flowing Globally
A UNFCCC summary assessment on financing climate change mitigation and adaptation was released this week. Difficulties faced include the complexity of defining climate finance, the myriad of ways in which governments and organizations channel funding, and data gaps and limitations – particularly for adaptation and energy efficiency. Recommendations in the report include how to increase clarity (especially in regards to defining climate finance) and transparency over time. This will enable better measurement, reporting, and verification. Interesting observations include:

  • Global total climate finance flows between $340 and $650 billion for 2011-2012 year (within countries and through international institutions and mechanisms, etc.)
  • Support from developed to developing countries between $35 and $50 billion annually
  • Around 95 % of global total climate finance is spent on mitigation or cutting emissions with 5% on adaptation
  • Subsidies for oil and gas and investments in fossil fuel-fired generation are almost double the global finance for addressing climate change

GHG Protocol: Policy and Action Standard
A new accounting and reporting standard was released enabling governments to estimate the greenhouse gas effects of planned policies and actions, to inform decision-making, monitor progress and actions, and evaluate retrospectively to learn from experience. In addition, the standard provides a framework that can be used to assess the broader social, economic, and environmental impacts of a policy or action, such as air quality, public health, and job creation. This multi-stakeholder project is vital as it provides objective guidance and capabilities for all levels of government and sectors to not only implement policies that reduce emissions, but understand impacts and make improvements.

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