TheCompensators* » Allgemein

Archive for Allgemein

German members of government want to compensate their business trips

The German government officially wants to use the Climate Development Mechanism to compensate its business trips in the years from 2014 to 2017. That’s good enough, of course, but using the CDM apparently means not using the EU Emissisions Trading Scheme to delete emissions in your own backyard.

By the way: The Öko-Institut asks “How additional is the Clean Development Mechanism?” in its study from 2016. One of the results is that “we estimate that 85% of the covered projects and 73% of the potential 2013-2020 CER supply have a low likelihood of ensuring environmental integrity (i.e. ensuring that emission reductions are additional and not over-estimated) (p.14).” Find more about the study and its results here.

The (financial) value of climate protection

For now, this article is only available in German.

TheCompensators* turn 10!

Celebrating our ten year anniversary, we have ten special facts about TheCompensators* for you!

1. In the last ten years we have deleted 15.267 tons of CO2!

2. Joining TheCompensators* keeps the air fresh and raises the spirits 🙂

3. Phineo recommends us: We make a difference!

4. We are not like most organisations that enable you to compensate your emissions: We compensate in our own backyard!

5. TheCompensators* were funded in 2006 by scientists of the Potsdam Institute.

6. Last year we collected donations with a Crowdfunding campaign, bought certificates for all members of the European Parliament and delivered some of them personally!

7. Also, we are becoming part of scientific interest: last year TheCompensators* appeared in a scientific paper about behavioural research concerning donations: Can Nudges be Transparent and yet effective?

8. At Bonsum you can make your shopping sustainable, collect points and give them to TheCompensators*! You can find us on PlanetHelp and Gooding, too!

9. Actually, the EU ETS is not supposed to be accessed by civil society – TheCompensators* participate anyway.

10. And last but not least: Christmas season is coming! Give your beloved a piece of climate protection by deleting CO2-certificates in their names!

A fixed price for the ETS

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

Ökonomen zweifeln an der Marktstabilitätsreserve

Die Umweltökonomen Prof. Dr. Grischa Perino und Maximilian Willner von der Universität Hamburg haben die Wirkung der Marktstabilitätsreserve auf den Zertifikatehandel untersucht und äußern Zweifel, dass der neue Mechanismus tatsächlich zur Reform des EU Emissionshandelssystem (ETS) beiträgt. Maximilian Willner fasst die aktuellen Forschungsergebnisse für TheCompensators* zusammen:

Mit der Verabschiedung des EU ETS Reformpakets im Sommer 2015 wurde unter anderem auch die Einführung der sogenannten Marktstabilitätsreserve (MSR) beschlossen. Die MSR nimmt zeitweilig Zertifikate vom Markt und verringert so vorübergehend die vorhandene Menge an ungenutzten, überschüssigen Zertifikaten.

Dieser Mechanismus soll einerseits den Überschuss an ungenutzten Zertifikaten im Markt reduzieren und so zusätzliche Anreize zur Investition in klimafreundliche Technologien setzen. Andererseits soll er das Handelssystem robuster machen und einem plötzlichen oder länger anhaltenden Preisverfall im Zertifikatehandel entgegenwirken, beispielsweise infolge sinkender Nachfrage im Zuge von Wirtschaftskrisen. Unsere Forschungsergebnisse stellen beide Funktionen infrage.

In unserem aktuellen Forschungsbeitrag “The price and emission effects of a market stability reserve in a competitive allowance market” vergleichen wir ein Szenario mit MSR und ein Szenario ohne Reform. Dabei zeigt sich, dass die MSR durch Markteingriffe den Preis für CO2 wie gewünscht erhöhen kann, aber nur kurzfristig. Mittelfristig werden die Emissionszertifikate wieder billiger, weil die MSR aus dem Handel genommene Zertifikate nicht zerstört, sondern sie wieder ausschüttet. Die Gesamtmenge der im EU ETS ausgegebenen Zertifikate bleibt also letztlich gleich. Das geringere mittelfristige Preisniveau könnte dann unerwünschte Folgen für langfristige, klimafreundliche Investitionsentscheidungen insbesondere von Energieunternehmen haben.

Ebenso zweifelhaft ist, ob die MSR das EU ETS tatsächlich robuster gegenüber Preisverfall infolge von Schocks oder Wirtschaftskrisen machen kann. Nach unseren Berechnungen könnte die MSR die Folgen von Nachfrageschwankungen im EU ETS unter Umständen sogar verstärken und die Zertifikatspreise noch stärker ausschlagen lassen als bisher.

European Parliament adopts CO2 market stability reserve

The European Parliament has made an important step towards a reform of the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). On Wednesday, 9 July 2015, The plenary session adopted the creation of a so-called CO2 market stability reserve. This reserve is intended to stabilise the price of pollution allowances from 2019 onwards and could be, if properly implemented, an important element to make the ETS a tool effectively helping to mitigate climate change and to raise funds for adoption to climate change.

For further details, have a look at the EP’s press release.

Give deleted emission certificates as a present!

Are you looking for a Christmas present? Why not give something meaningful: climate protection!

The nations are debating how global warming might be limited and how the climate might be protected in Lima, Peru at the moment. To date, it once again appears that the necessary decisions will not be taken.

But you have the opportunity to become active yourself in advancing climate protection! Compensate your emissions or simply send out a signal: make a donation to TheCompensators* so that we can withdraw emission rights from the European Emissions Trading Scheme and thus reduce the amount of emissions which European industries are able to emit.

If you want to give away emission certificates as a gift, send us a quick e-mail to after your donation. You will then receive a Christmas certificate in addition to your donation receipt.

For donations made before December 20th we’ll send out the certificates on December 23rd at the latest – by e-mail, ready to be printed!

Compensate now!

You can also shop your christmas presents online in order to support TheCompensators* – it won’t cost you a penny more. It’s really easy!

Hundreds of thousands of people protest for Climate Protection

TheCompensators* are happy about these results: In the run-up to the UN Climate Change conference in New York one week ago, hundreds of thousands of people all around the world protested against climate change. In Berlin protesters danced, in New York they sang against Wall Street capitalists, and in Melbourne 30.000 of them showed their disappointment with Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s unreasonable climate policy. These events were orchestrated by Avaaz, an environmental organisation that is currently collecting signatures for a gradual reduction of CO2 emissions.

Silent Climate Parade” in Berlin

Watching the protesters from the sidelines must have been amusing: Ten thousand people accompanied the protest by bike or danced towards the Brandenburger Tor, listening to electronic dance music over headphones. “We received instructions via wifi headset“, one of the protesters explained, “suddenly they’d say `Freeze!´ and everyone would stand still. People who didn’t know about this must have thought they’re out of their minds.”

Although the protesters in the various locations addressed the same issue, in every city there were other measures to express it. While the “Silent Climate Parade” intended to denounce the ignorance of those who still deny climate change, protesters in Melbourne mainly criticised Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott. In July he repealed a law that regulates taxes for carbon emissions.

In New York, 300.000 people staged a protest that rather looked like a parade: with costumes, instruments, and whole choirs they expressed their disappointment with current climate protection policy. They sang “we’re not gonna take it anymore” and “shut down Wall Street now”. Youtube channel Acronym TV has captured impressive pictures.

Al Gore: “Political will is a renewable resource”

Celebrities such as Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, actor and United Nations Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio, and ex vice US president Al Gore who likes to talk about “inconvenient truths” joined the protesters in New York before speaking in front of the representatives of the member states. Not all of their leaders had come: German chancellor Angela Merkel preferred to attend a festive event of the German industrial lobby.

The summit had been convened by Ban Ki-moon. His intention was not to discuss further actions concerning the Kyoto Protocol (which is scheduled for the COP at Paris in 2015) but to remind the UN of the present dangers arising from climate change. Thus, the leaders who came made vigorous speeches. US president Obama said that action must be taken immediately, especially by the worst polluters like the US and China. Germany’s Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendricks announced that Germany was willing to reduce its emissions by 40% compared to the level of 1990. Furthermore, she promised to withdraw development aid where it enforces coal-fired power stations. Manuel Barroso, president of the EU-commission, presented the EU’s plan to give three billion euros to developing countries during the next seven years to help them establish their sustainable energy programs.

What all these big words really mean will be revealed in Paris in 2015. But the breathtaking mobilization of environmentalists worldwide showed our world leaders that they cannot continue sweeping climate change under the carpet.

TheCompensators* offer a (little) job

This blog post does only exist in German. Please click here to read it – or contact us to help us translate it into English!

Berlin Appeal: Act in a Climate-neutral Way!

Berliner Appell

We need fast and resolute actions to reach the goals for climate protection. Since current politics is missing such a resoluteness, 16 celebrities from science and civil society have signed in March 2012 a joint declaration: the Berlin Appeal.

They have promised to reduce their own CO2 emissions as much as possible and to compensate for those they cannot avoid.

TheCompensators* give full support to this initiative. We believe that avoiding emissions should be the first priority. Additionally we offer the possibility to compensate for the emissions which cannot be avoided.

You can support the appeal, too! Please find here the complete text and further information.

And, do not forget to compensate your unavoidable emissions. It is really easy!

Think Tank has ambitious plans to reform ETS

According to, internal documents of the think tank Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), reveal ambitious plans to reform the ETS. Remarkably, MCC is headed by Ottmar Edenhofer who – as co-chair of working group III Mitigation of Climate Change at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – is one of the world’s most reputable climate researchers.

The calculations for the proposal show that a higher price for ETS CO2 emission rights would generate significant income for countries’ budgets. In turn, this could especially help southern European countries to overcome their public debt crisis. The MCC proposal has three main pillars according to

  • A minimum price for each certificate of 20EUR
  • Inclusion of transport and buildings in the ETS
  • Drastic reduction of free-of-charge distribution of certificates

TheCompensators* welcome the proposal as an important contribution to the debate on effective EU climate policy. It give a great example how ambitious climate policy can be when combined with economic action.

While critically points out that consumer prices would rise due to such a high emission rights price, TheCompensators* would like to bring foward the following two arguments:

  • The neediest/poorest consumers can be sheltered from rising prices by targeted financial support instead of ignoring internalization of the cost of climate change for polluting technologies and industries. This is a standard mechanism proposed and successfully applied in developing countries that phase out subsidies on petrol or gas. From a general point of view, low CO2 prices are nothing but fossil fuel subsidies.
  • Under high CO2 prices, climate-friendly technology would develop rapidly and lower the cost for the consumers again. In addition, the resulting leadership in low carbon technologies would create additional employment  in Europe.

TheCompensators* will keep accompanying the discussion and promoting the ETS as the most advanced economic tool we have to tackle climate change. You can contribute to effective climate action and reinforce our message by donating here.

Presentation at Ökozentrum Bonn

This blog post does only exist in German. Please click here to read it – or contact us to help us translate it into English!

New emissions calculator for small and medium enterprises

This blog post does only exist in German. Please click here to read it – or contact us to help us translate it into English!

Set off your donation more easily against your taxes

TheCompensators*Donors and members of TheCompensators* have always been able to set off their donations and membership fees against their taxes (when paying taxes in Germany). That is because we are a registered non-profit organisation. And it means that the German state pays up to nearly half of your donations!

So far, we have always sent you a personalised donation receipt in the first months of every year. As more and more people are supporting our work, sending these documents has taken more and more of our time. Therefore, we are now simplifying things.

For smaller donations German tax law allows simplified donation certificates: if you want to set off your donation of up to 200 euros, it is enough to send your bank statement together with this document to the tax office.

Get started and compensate now!

European Commission suggests reforms to the ETS

On January 22nd, the European Commission has published its proposal for 2030 greenhouse gas reduction and renewables targets. The Comission’s proposal is highly controversial, with NGOs and renewables interest groups against it and industry groups very satisfied. The emission reduction target seems acceptable even though it could be more amibitous. The renewables target is very weak in comparison to the current legislation for the time until 2020.

Here the main facts:

The proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target for 2030 is a 40% reduction compared to 1990 levels. Effort sharing for non-ETS sectors shall remain to be based on a GDP-based distribution and deliver a 30% reduction compared to 2005 levels.

The ETS sector it supposed to deliver reductions of 43% compared to 2005 levels. This entails a reduction of the annual ETS cap by 2.2% per year between 2020 and 2030.

A market reserve is planned for 2021 according to the following rules:

> The reserve will be increased by 12% if this amounts to 100 million allowances, i.e. if more that 833 million allowances have been in circulation two years earlier. In other words, if 1000 million allowances are in circulation in 2022, 120 million equivalent to 12% will be put on reserve in 2024. In contrast, if only 800 million allowances are in circulation, nothing will be put on reserve.

> 100 million allowances will be released to the market if less than 400 million allowances are in circulation.

Further provisions are proposed to avoid extreme market reactions at the end of trading periods. But no details have been given yet.

After the backloading of 900 million allowances was decided in December 2013, the Commission’s proposal is finally taking the ETS reform one step further.

TheCompensators* welcome the reform, while we critizice that it seems to have come at the expense of other sustainable policies. Nevertheless, the Commission’s proposals proves that the ETS is everything but obsolete. The deletion of emission allowances makes as much sense as ever! Your donations to TheCompensators* make a difference.

Transparent deletion: New TC numbering system

The European Emission Trading System has changed and TheCompensators* have responded. Transactions with emission allowances are now handled on the European level and not on the national level anymore. As a result of the system change, the distinct identification number of each allowance is not visible to the buyer anymore. Instead, the system generates so-called transaction ID numbers per purchase or deletion order. That means that each ID number now refers to a whole package of either bought or deleted allowances.

From our point of view, the new EU ETS procedures are less transparent. After all, emission allowances only exist in form of ID numbers in the system!

The Compensators* remain true to our transparency credo. We have therefore developed our own new system for attributing distinct numbers to all the pollution rights we destroy. This is how the first deleted certificate looked after its deletion by TheCompensators*:


The letters ‘TC‘ indicate that the ID was generated by TheCompensators*. The remaining code EU138288 is the transaction ID generated by the EU ETS for the package of allowances deleted on November 27th 2013. The ordinal number -0001 indicates that this is the first deleted certificate from this particular package.

Our ID system is based on the ID numbers attributed to the deletion of pollution rights since this is the step that counts. On November 27th 2013 TheCompensators* deleted 1300 emission allowances. They had been purchased one week earlier, on November 11th 2013 with the ID number EU138065.

Each deletion procedure follows a ‘four-eyes principle’: To carry out the transaction ‘destruction of units’ in our ETS account, one authorised member of TheCompensators* has to initiate the operation and another team colleague has to confirm it.

European Parliament approves backloading of pollution permits

This article does only exist in German. To read it, please click here.

Do you want to help TheCompensators* by translating the text into English?

Please write an e-mail to!

Introduction of pilot carbon trading systems in China

Last week, China has launched two carbon trading schemes in Beijing and Shanghai. The country, which is a huge contributor to global climate change, plans to reduce its CO2-emissions per unit of GDP by 40% until 2020, based on the year 2005. The new platform, which was developed by taking the European Trading System as a leading example, is supposed to support this goal.

Similar to the EU system, the scheme will force companies to buy credits to cover any CO2 they emit above allocated quotas. Although there are neither binding carbon caps imposed on enterprises, nor any legal means of forcing them to participate, the schemes will function as a learning experience for local firms and governments. As many companies are state-owned, they are expected to fully participate, given the political pressure and their close relation to the local government.

In the first phase, credits will be distributed to member firms free of charge, meaning participants will only face additional costs when exceeding their quotas and having to buy certificates. Until the end of 2014, China plans to launch seven carbon trading schemes in total, including the one already in operation in the Southeastern city of Shenzhen. These pilot projects will help the country in testing policies on emissions markets before the establishment of a nationwide scheme.

Besides reducing emissions, China aims to make local industries more competitive by incentivising the investment in green technologies and climate friendly ways of production. This would lead to the creation of new, green jobs and the development of innovative technologies and products.

TheCompensators* therefore welcome the introduction of emissions trading schemes in China. Even though the systems might not lead to an immediate reduction of CO2-emissions, they will slow down their increase, and by greening the local production they will be a step forward in the transition to a green economy.

The efforts in China and other countries and regions show that the ETS serves as a role model and contributes to climate action beyond Europe’s borders. It is therefore essential that the EU reinforces its climate action efforts and improves the ETS.

By deleting emissions rights with your donation to TheCompensators* you can underline that Europe’s citizens are committed to fighting climate change and modernising their economy.

TheCompensators* Advent Calendar: Showing what is at Stake

adventskalender2013_thumbClimate scientists have warned us again and again during the last weeks: If the international community does not take robust action now, the famous two-degree target will be unattainable. If the average global temperature raises more than two degrees, this will have uncontrollable consequences.

However, governments alone won’t save the planet. The Warsaw UN Climate Change Conference showed once again how difficult it is to agree on political measures to be taken.

But we can take action already today and thus contribute to climate protection. We can take responsibility by keeping our own climate-damaging emissions as low as possible. We can also delete as many CO2 allowances as possible so that they cannot be used anymore by anyone else.

With this year’s Advent Calendar, TheCompensators* want to share some wonderful impressions of nature’s beauty and show what is at stake. All of the species in the pictures are in danger of losing their habitat as a consequence of climate change. We think they deserve our protection and immediate action.

We will therefore delete pollution permits for each day until Christmas: On December 1st we will delete one tonne, on December 2nd we will delete 2 tonnes and so on … Until Christmas will have deleted 300 CO2 allowances.

We say thank you to Jens Wieting for the fantastic pictures and invite you to compensate with us!

Emission trading 2030

This week TheCompensators* attended the Florence School of Regulation Forum 2013 in Brussels. Here is our report from Europe’s capital:

At the FSR Forum 2013, European Commissioner for Climate action Connie Hedegaard gave an insight into the European Commission’s plans concerning climate action in general and the ETS in particular. Hedegaard announced that the European Commission will publish its proposal on 2030 climate action targets on January 21st 2014. In March, the EU heads of state will consider the proposal to make it the basis for the EU’s position at a UN leaders’ climate summit in September 2014 and also at the 2015 COP in Paris.

A reformed ETS for a better future

Hedegaard argued that the ETS works. She considers the low prices to be a result of the economic crisis and therefore a natural phenomenon that does not call into question the system as such. Jon Delbeke, Director-General of the DG Climate Action, added that the ETS will be a central pillar of the European Commission’s proposal for 2030 climate action targets. A structural reform of the ETS is likely to become part of the 2030-targets proposal. Different options are on the table: a linear reduction factor, permanent cancellation of excess allowances or an automatism linking the ETS to demand for allowances.

Opposing some industry claims, Hedegaard emphasized that there is no empirical evidence that the ETS is causing job losses in Europe. On the contrary, low carbon and environmental technologies are, besides health and ICT, the most promising sectors in the EU in terms of creating new jobs. In addition, Europe must be careful not to give away its front runner position on low carbon technologies since other countries are increasing their efforts in this sector.

TheCompensators* welcome the European Commission’s efforts for 2030 climate action targets and the plans to improve the ETS. We call on the European Commission to rigorously tackle the structural problems of the current design and to extend the ETS to more industry sectors. While the last word about the ETS has not yet been said, all of us can act already today – by buying and deleting ETS CO2 allowances via TheCompensators*!

New emissions price – delete more with the same amount

Compensate!The European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is still in a terrible state: pollution rights are far too cheap! To work properly and help to fight against climate change, the price for emitting one tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) should be around 30 euros. Instead, the current price is as low as 4,50 Euro.

There is only one advantage of the situation: it is cheaper than ever to delete pollutions rights! TheCompensators* have been shopping again – with the help of your donations and member fees we have bought 1300 emissions certificates for 4,58 per tonne of CO2.

As always, this also defines the price for deleting pollutions rights with TheCompensators*. We add 10 percent to the price we paid to cover all our expenses. Therefore the price for deleting one tonne of CO2 with a donation to TheCompensators* will be 5,04 Euro until our next purchase.

And now hurry up to delete emissions!

So much to do…

TheCompensators*TheCompensators* are a non-profit organisation – and we are all unpaid volunteers That’s why you can be sure that we are committed with our heart and soul, and that we are not interested in earning any money with TheCompensators*.

But there is also a disadvantage of working with volunteers only: Everything we do, we do it during our free time. And we do not always have a lot of it. That is what’s happening right now, and that is also the reason why you won’t find a lot of activity on our website for some weeks.

However we will continue our work! And you can be sure that we will use all the donations we receive to delete pollution rights. As soon as we will find some more spare time, we will start other new action

If you would like to get engaged with TheCompensators*: We are always looking for new volunteers!

105 CO2 certificates less!


Soundsystem in motion with TheCompensators* Balloon

The Berlin Silent Climate Parade on August 24 was not only fun but also effective. TheCompensators* explained and criticized the European Emission Trading System (ETS) to all visitors to our stand and shared blue balloons with everybody who supported our climate parade campaign. Many did! With the donations collected before and during the demonstration the TheCompensators* could eventually delete 105 CO2 certificates equivalent to 105 tons of CO2 emissions.

The Silent Climate Parade took place for the fifth time. The annual demonstration attracts climate activists but also people who just like to dance to electronic music.

On August 24, the DJs rocked the street for nearly four hours with danceable beats in bright sunshine. The sound was transmitted from a mobile sound system and inaudible without headphones. Pedestrians on Kurfürstendamm, shoppers and tourists who watched the demonstration pass by saw happy people dancing and jumping but could not hear the beats and rhythms.

TheCompensators* were both visible and audible. Our blue balloons with the lable “1 ton CO2 less!” danced with us on the demonstrators’ arms. When we announced the deletion of CO2 allowances, equivalent to 105 tons of CO2 emissions, at least as many balloons burst simultaneously in the silent crowd.


A big “thank you” to Abraham!

Abraham MenaldoLast autumn, TheCompensators* welcomed Abraham Menaldo, our first intern. Nine months later and 2,227 emissions certifiactes less Abraham has returned to the United States and TheCompensators* say thank you!

Abraham came to Germany with the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) and chose to join TheCompensators* for an internship as part of the fellowship program. His departure leaves its marks: We miss Abraham as part of our team. Thanks to his profound understanding of climate policy issues and his excellent language skills our German and English website was more up to date than ever.

Abraham contributed greatly to our Christmas Special 2013 and the pilote project to our Climate-neutral shopping campaign, which took place in the course of the Wirkcamp 2013 in Lüneburg, Germany. In March, Abraham travelled to Bonn, to represent TheCompensators* at the conference “Advancing the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda“. He has also left us with some great new ideas that we hope to put into action in the near future.

Last but not least, Abraham boosted our core activity. While he was our intern, TheCompensators* deleted allowances equivalent to 2,227 tonnes of CO2!

Working with and knowing Abraham was a great enrichment and luck for our cause as well as for us personally!

Thank you, Abraham!

If you are interested in an internship with TheCompensators* or if you would like to join our team of volunteers, please do not hesitate to contact us at info_at_thecompensators_dot_org!

Silent Protest and a Good Mood against Climate Change

TheCompensators* will participate in the Silent Climate Parade 2013!

Silent Climate ParadeClimate change is the single biggest problem of our time – but it is completely silent. That is why together with hundreds of other committed people TheCompensators* will once again participate in the Silent Climate Parade in Berlin!

The message is simple: we demonstrate because our biggest problem, climate change, is still unsolved. We dance because we stand for a more sustainable future that can still be fun. On August 24th, the fifth Silent Climate Parade will show once again in Berlin that a sustainable life style can be fun: Equipped with headphones dancers will move their bodies in the heart of West Berlin from 2p.m. and 5.p.m. and celebrate a good climate.

As in the last years, TheCompensators* will be part of the event. And all our friends are more than welcome to join in, to dance and demonstrate with us, and to participate in our Climate Parade Special:

All donations we receive between July 24 and August 24, 2013 will be added to a package of CO2 allowances that we will destroy during the parade.

How big this package will be and how great the fun, depends on you. So, please donate and come and dance with us!

Climate-neutral Shopping: The Video

A long long time has passed by since the Wirkcamp. Now, finally, here it is – the video that explains the idea behind climate-neutral shopping.

That’s it, just enjoy this piece of art

Many thanks to everyone who has participated – and especially to Karsten und Janis for their support until the end!

Obama: US will lead climate change efforts

On Tuesday June 25th, President Barack Obama made a historic step forward against climate change when he held a speech at Georgetown University in Washington DC. During his speech, President Obama highlighted that the US must cut carbon emissions in order to protect future generations from the consequences of global warming. Obama has made the greatest step forward to tackle climate change as he presented a five point comprehensive strategy to address climate change.

Five Point Strategy

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will design rules for curbing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and complete new pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.
  • Promote the development of renewable energy. Department of defense, the greatest energy consumer in the country and other government agencies will also join the cause. End tax breaks for big oil companies.
  • Increase fuel standards for cars and promote less waste. Government institutions will consume less energy and have set the goal of using 20% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2019.
  • Improve the infrastructure of the country to withstand natural disasters. The US will invest to restore clean water delivery system, fortify shorelines and build smarter and resilient infrastructure to protect homes and buildings.
  • Lead international efforts to combat climate change. The US will encourage international organizations to end public financing to new coal plants overseas, encourage free trade on environmental goods and services and push for a new global agreement to reduce carbon emissions.

Reducing emissions from power plants would be the most significant action against climate change as power plants are responsible for a third of the US’s greenhouse gas emissions. “Power plants can still dump limitless carbon pollution into the air for free,” Obama said. “That’s not right, that’s not safe and it needs to stop.”

Concerning Obama’s speech and his plan to tackle climate change, former Vice-President Al Gore commented, “I applaud the new measures announced by President Barack Obama.” “This was a terrific and historic speech, by far the best address on climate by any president ever,” he added.

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, please click here!

Backloading proposal: second round

Last week, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI) voted in favor of an amended version of the so-called backloading proposal. After the proposal was narrowly rejected in April, the European Parliament’s plenary is expected to vote on backloading for the second time in Strasbourg on July 3rd.

Under the new proposal, 900 million allowances will be withdrawn from the market in order to increase carbon prices. However, according to the new amendment, carbon allowances will be reintroduced into the market in a “predictable and linear manner starting from the year following that during which allowances have last been withheld“. This is a stark contrast with the previous proposal which would have began reintroducing certificates in 2019, at the end of the trading phase. Also, the previous text included a clause which dictated that there was the possibility for the 900 million allowances to be removed from the market all together. This clause was unfortunately taken out of the amended text. All revenues raised from auctioning allowances will go to fund investment in research and development of low carbon technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS).

On the new proposal, the Committee agrees that by 30 June 2015, the Commission shall forward to the European Parliament and to the Council a feasibility study. This study will include a cost-benefit analysis of climate change policies based on instruments other than market mechanisms, including the introduction of a carbon tax at the EU’s borders.

Point Carbon, a leading provider of market intelligence, news, analysis and advisory services for the energy and environmental markets, made a forecast
of the future prices for allowances until the end of the third phase. The forecast showed that the average price of carbon allowances will be € 6.3, making very little difference to the current prices.

The backloading proposal is only a tiny step in fixing the ETS in the short term… Still, in the current situation, we at TheCompensators* believe that a tiny step is better than no step at all! The EU must show that a change is taking place and the ETS is not left to collapse, especially when other countries are looking at the EU to take decision on starting their own carbon markets. A negative vote by the European Parliament would bring global climate policy backwards!

Indian corporate giants embrace solar energy

Earlier this month, Coal India, known as the world’s largest coal company, made a surprising statement when the firm declared it would invest in the installation of solar PV panels in an attempt to reduce energy bills and cut costs. Coal India, which produces more than 80 percent of Indian’s coal is planning to build a 2 megawatt solar plant which will have the potential to supply excess electricity to the grid. This is a remarkable statement as the large firm is not only turning to solar energy as an efficient business practice, it understands India cannot power itself by coal.

However, Coal India is not the only firm who is looking at renewable sources to cut costs, other large firms are following their footsteps. Companies that are already using solar energy include Maruti Suzuki, the country’s biggest car maker  and the local branches of Dell and IBM. Neyvili Corp, another state owned coal company and Oil India, are considering the use of renewable energy. Neyvili, for instance, has proposed to build a 10MW solar PV plant with an option to upgrade to a 25MW facility.

Tata Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate company, is heading a thriving solar business. Ajay Goel, the head of Tata Power Solar Systems, stated that solar installations represents a market of around 80 billion rupees ($1.4 billion). Goel said that many of the biggest companies in the country are turning to solar because it is cheaper than energy coming from the grid.

According to the US Energy and Information Administration (EIA) 57 per cent of India’s electric power capacity comes from coal. Though India has the fifth-largest reserves in the world, the country consumes a large amount of coal from foreign countries such as Australia, Indonesia and South Africa reaching a record high of 135 million tonnes in 2012. Nonetheless, with such a high supply of coal, India’s carbon tax, meant to aid solar power development, does affect the price significantly. According to the Indian government, solar power could be cheaper than coal by next year.

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, click here!

Obama in Berlin says US is committed to stop climate change

In a crowd of approximately 5,000 expectators, President of the US Barack Obama, held a speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany. In his speech, Obama made a recap of the German/American partnership and friendship that was created after the end of World War II which still continues and thrives today. He made declarations in two areas of most importance to Germany due to the country’s historical past and current goals: reduction of nuclear head stockpiles and increasing efforts to prevent climate change.

Concerning climate change, Obama emphasized the US’s commitment to stop climate change. “In the United States, we have recently doubled our renewable energy from clean sources like wind and solar power.  We’re doubling fuel efficiency on our cars.  Our dangerous carbon emissions have come down.” He recognized however, that the US, as the worlds second largest emitter of carbon emissions, must contribute even further. “But we know we have to do more — and we will do more,” he stated.

Obama acknowledged that climate change is detrimental to all humans and has exacerbated climate phenomena. “Climate change….affects all nations [and causes] more severe storms, more famine and floods, new waves of refugees, coastlines that vanish, oceans that rise.” “This is the global threat of our time,” he affirmed. “And for the sake of future generations, our generation must move toward a global compact to confront a changing climate before it is too late.” However, comparing Obama’s determination to reduce nuclear weapons by one third through agreements with Russia, not a single goal was highlighted during his speech to tackle climate change.

This lack of a comprehensive plan to avert climate change was also seen at the two-day G8 conference between leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the USA and the UK. Although French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed for the leaders to address climate change, the focus centered on the conflict in Syria, trade talks, and measures to enhance tax transparency and tackle evasion. At the G8, Obama made it clear that climate change should be averted, but no tangible measures were suggested.

At the communique released at the end of the G8 conference, leaders agreed that decisions on climate change will be delayed until the UNFCCC meeting in 2015. Until then world leaders will not take major steps to counter climate change.

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, click here!

China launches first out of seven pilot carbon markets

China, the world’s largest CO2 emitting country, is one step closer to capping its pollution as the first pilot carbon market in Shenzhen started operations today. The seven other trading schemes of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin, Chongqing and Hubei will start operations later this year. In total, China’s 7 pilot projects are set to regulate 800 million to 1 billion tons of emissions by 2015. China’s National Development and Reform Commission will oversee emission exchanges and monitor prices.

The Shenzhen pilot will include 635 companies of the region which account for 26 per cent of the city’s GDP adding up to 30m tonnes of CO2 per year. The firms that participate in the Shenzhen pilot project have been allotted permits for total emissions of 100m tonnes between 2013 and 2015. Ideally, firms will reduce their carbon intensity by 7 per cent over the next two years.

Experts believe that the Shenzhen scheme, as well as, the other regional pilots can achieve limited results due to the lack of a nationwide legal framework. Energy economist at Xiamen University Lin Boqiang said, “progress will depend on the government’s determination.”  “Unless the government sets up a binding framework, it will be very difficult to determine fair transactions, and trading will be hampered,” Lin added.

On 2015, the government will decide whether China has the capability to run a nationwide carbon market.

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, click here!

Climate change expected to intensify floods

A Japanese-led scientific report titled Global Flood Risk Under Climate Change, found that climate change would likely magnify floods and increase their damage to nearby populations especially towards the end of the 21st century. The report, found that severe floods would happen more frequent on most of the 29 rivers reviewed in detail in the study which included the Yangtze, the Ganges, the Nile, the Niger, the Amazon and the Parana. The Rhine in Europe is also expected to see an increase in flooding frequency.

The study suggests that overall, rising temperatures will increase the risk of floods. Warmer air caused by an increase in global temperatures can potentially absorb more moisture and therefore cause more rain. Change in wind and other factors could leave some areas getting wetter, while others get drier. Such dry areas, according to the study could be the Mississippi river in the US and the Euphrates in the Middle East which are expected to see a decrease in risk of flooding.

Proof of what the study predicts holds true today. Over the last two weeks, Central and Eastern Europe have experienced devastating floods causing mass evacuations in Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic and at least 21 deaths. Fitch Ratings, a global rating agency, expected the total cost of the flood damage to be around €12bn in Germany alone.

According to Preventionweb, a website that monitors disasters around the globe, over the last three decades, floods have claimed around 200,000 lives and caused around $400 billion in economic damage. They have also cost an estimated three billion people their homes, farms, businesses and livestock.

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, click here!

EU leaders seek “silver bullet” solution for higher energy costs.

On May 22, EU leaders attended a summit in Brussels were the main topic of discussion was the rising energy costs and methods to boost the Union’s industrial competitiveness. At the summit, several EU leaders stated that they would favor “silver bullet” solutions to reduce energy prices, such as the development of shale gas. Other leaders, however, expressed interest in pursuing simultaneous action on “several fronts.”

The British, Polish and Romanian prime ministers and the Lithuanian President made statements were they favored shale gas development. The prime ministers used the examples of China and the US who are going through an “energy revolution” due to lower energy prices and an increase in industrial output thanks to shale gas.

Prime Minister David Cameron stated that Europe could not afford to be left behind as the world develops the resource. He firmly declared that Europe had 75% of the American shale gas potential.

EU leaders agreed on several points. One main point that had much agreement was financing energy projects. Experts estimate that the needs for investments in modern energy infrastructure are estimated at €1 trillion by 2020, a figure that also includes research and development. The leaders agreed that financing energy projects should come from the market and on cooperation between countries of the Union through investment.

Further, another point of major agreement was energy independence. EU leaders agreed that to decrease dependence on imported energy, indigenous sources should be developed. Moreover, success stories such as those of Denmark and Germany, both countries who have invested heavily in renewable technology, should be closely examined

The conclusions from the summit were:

  • Commitment to ensure security of energy supply for households and companies at affordable and competitive prices.
  • Commitment from member states to regularly exchange information on major national energy decisions which have a possible impact on other Member States
  • Diversification of the energy supply
  • Investments in new and intelligent energy infrastructure are needed to secure the uninterrupted supply of energy at affordable prices

For the full document of summit conclusions, click here.

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, support TheCompensators*

Eight European energy giants call for reform of the ETS

On May 22, eight large European energy companies made an appeal, in order to call to the attention of major politicians, the current challenges of the energy market. The signatories of the appeal comprised the CEO’s of Enel, Eni, Eon, GasTerra, GasNatural Fenosa, GDF Suez, Ibedrola and RWE.

All CEO’s agreed that the future energy market should coordinate all European nations to meet climate policy targets. These targets, conclude the signatories, should be realistic and follow a stable reduction targets for the year 2020 and beyond.

Concerning the proposed measures, such as the backloading policy, the CEO’s proved skeptical, as in their opinion, accepting the proposal would not change anything in the structural level. However, all eight CEOs embraced long-term solutions that would reassure emission reductions throughout the years.

Peter Terium, CEO of RWE underlined the importance that European countries should work together instead of individually and share common goals. “Measures, or action taken by individual countries – whether regarding capacity mechanisms or expansion targets for renewables – are of no use to us; we must find European solutions.”

If you would also want to reform the ETS, then click here and compensate for your emissions!

Results of Wirkcamp 2013

Contact Form Shortcode Error: Form 5 does not exist

A few weeks ago, TheCompensators* had the opportunity to participate in the 6th Wirkcamp in Lueneburg, Germany. The Wirkcamp is more than a work camp: it brings together start ups and various organizations with people who are willing to make something happen within a long weekend. During the 3 and 1/2 days, each working group concentrates on a project, from conception to evaluation.

TheCompensators* are proud of their accomplishments during the Wirkcamp. At the camp, we began a pilot project called “Klimaneutrales Einkaufen” (Climate Neutral Shopping).

Our results yielded among many things:

  • The creation of the Climate Neutral Shopping Team
  • The calculation of CO2 emissions for 30 basic products
  • A video informing about climate neutral shopping. (link to our video coming soon)

The reaction to our project was overwhelmingly positive. During the weekend, TheCompensators*, noticed the high interest for a service where shopping could be compensated. With our action, we are proud to say that we compensated the purchase of groceries for an entire week of approximately 95 German individuals.

Please stay tuned to find out more about our newest project.

TheCompensators* would like to send a special thanks to Karsten Mosny, Janis Brucker, Regina Prade, Max Schön, Lea Scheurer, Pia van Ackern, Jana Stienecker, Isabel Karst, Eva Stadler, Liane Schäfer, Anna Sagemüller, Luise Schmidt, Patrice Ziehm, Tobi Rosswog, Kerstin Albrecht and Sina Joppich!

You would like to stay updated about “Climate-neutral shopping”. Just fill in your date in this form!

China, one month away of first emission trading market

On June 17 of this year, Shenzhen, a special economic zone in China, will begin operation of its first emission trading market. Shenzhen’s carbon market is the first one from a series of 7 planned regional carbon markets to be put in place in China. Beijing and Shanghai may also start their carbon markets sometime in June; however, a specific date for the markets to begin business has not been put in place.

Shenzhen, a main city in Southern China, is a mayor financial center and home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Shenzhen once known for being a small village near Hong Kong is now a modern city as a result of its vibrant economy made possible by ever growing foreign investment. The city’s carbon market will include 635 companies in total. According to New Energy Finance, an organization that specializes in providing financial information, these companies discharged 31.7 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2010.

Instead of placing a countrywide carbon market, China decided to focus on regional markets first with the goal of linking them in the future. Regional carbon markets have been designed to accommodate local characteristics and necessities. Guangdong’s market, for example, is a manufacturing hub. The emission trading market in the region would only charge factories for carbon dioxide emitted, while Shanghai’s system would charge airports, office buildings and other major emitters. Overall, China has pledged a 17 percent cut in emissions per unit of economic output by 2015, compared to 2010 emission levels, and has assigned emissions reduction targets to each region. Each region has translated their target to specific quotas that limit what individual polluters can emit.

A report published last year by the Climate Institute, an Australian think tank, stated that China will become the second largest carbon market in the world in terms of regulated emissions, covering 700 million tons of emissions by 2014. In contrast, the report notes, that the carbon markets in California, Australia and the European Union will cover 165 million tons, 382 million tons and 2.1 billion tons, respectively showing a stark difference.

Pilot programs for carbon trading are also scheduled to open this year in Guangdong, Tianjin, Chongqing and Hubei.

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, click here!

Brussels and Washington levy heavy tariffs on Chinese solar panels

On May 20, Washington and Brussels decided to negotiate settlements with China involving China’s $30 billion solar panel shipments to Europe and the US. Both blocs are expected to raise the price of solar panels from China, the world’s dominant producer. They would require Chinese companies to charge more for their panels and further limit the total number of panels exported to the West.

China will be hit with tough tariffs. The United States has already started collecting tariffs of up to 30% of the price while the European Union may impose similar tariffs ranging from 37% to 68% on June 5.

The goal of these tariffs, and quantity regulations are to protect both American and European manufacturers from what they have called “unfair competition.” According to manufactures in both blocs, Chinese solar panels are heavily subsidized and then dumped in their countries at prices below the cost of production. As reported by the manufacturer’s, two dozen American and European solar panel firms have already cut back production or gone bankrupt in the last three years. According to these same sources, Chinese shipments to the West have driven solar panel prices down by three-quarters in the last four years. In total, China’s solar industry exported €21 billion of goods to Europe in 2011.

In response to this issue, German Economy Minister Phillipp Roesler stated that the EU made a “grave mistake” by agreeing to impose tariffs on solar panels from China. He stated that China has already warned that the tariffs on solar panels would harm bilateral trade. Germany is one of the world’s leading export nations and Roesler beliefs that a trade conflict with China could hurt Germany’s trade relations with China, one of the countries greatest trading partners, in the long run.

Environmentalists in both the US and Europe are against the decision to levy tariffs on Chinese solar panel imports as it will make the price of renewable energy even more expensive. At the moment, renewable energy is still much more expensive compared to energy produced from fossil fuels.

If you would like to raise the price of CO2 emissions and make renewable energy price competitive click here!

Germany has surpassed its emissions cap in 2012

On Wednesday May 15th, the European Commission will publish its results concerning the quantities of CO2 emissions subject to emissions trading for the year 2012. Already today, the German ETS registry revealed that the 1,629 energy and industrial facilities in Germany included in the Emissions Trading Scheme emitted 452.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere last year. This means that Germany exceeds the cap of 451.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The report among other data reveals that 416 million allowances were issued for free. This is 14 million more free allowances compared to the year 2011. Further, the report shows that in 2012, there were 139.9 million Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) credits issued – a significant increase from the previous years.

At a press conference, the president of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA), Jochen Flasbarth, sharply criticized Germany’s increasing emissions and stated that much is to blame on the overallocation of emission allowances which stands at around 1.7 billion allowances. “The reason for this so-called over-allocation is due to a high allocation of pollution rights to Eastern European countries and to a large number of free certificates issued,” he stated. To reform this trend, “Germany must resort to alternative measures”, stated Flasbarth, such as “a CO2 tax or sharper limits for emissions,” he concluded.

The full VET Report 2012 will be available from 15.05.2013 on the German Emissions Trading Authority website.

If you want to help lowering the cap of emissions in the ETS, compensate for your emissions now!

TheCompensators@Phineo: That’s how winners look like

On April 18th, the independent research and consulting organisation Phineo confirmed the effectiveness of our involvement in the European emissions trading and in our struggle to lower carbon emissions in Europe with their approval label (link in German). On this day, it was confirmed that who donates to TheCompensators* makes a difference.

Here are some pictures of the event (courtesy of Phineo gAG/Linda Hanes)

CETA agreement could potentially revoke EU’s fracking ban

The controversial European Union-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) a proposed free trade and copyright agreement between Canada and the European Union, could threaten the ability of European countries to implement hydrolic fracking bans and regulations. The agreement states that impeding Canadian companies from fracking for shale gas, could potentially make the impeder face lawsuits under a far-reaching investment clause placed in the CETA draft. The proposed provision could enable energy and extractive companies to challenge bans, moratoria and environmental standards across the EU. Further, such policies give Canadian companies the possibility to call for millions of euros of compensation to be paid by European taxpayers.

Economists and many energy-intensive industries have called shale gas drilling a “game changer.” The industrialization boost seen in the U.S. recently, is partly due to an increase exploration and extraction of natural gas. Fracking has brought a boom in energy production in the states of Pennsylvania, Texas and Colorado, and has further lowered natural gas prices by 20%. It is expected that shale gas drilling will help European businesses compete with their American counterparts.

According to a recent report published by KPMG international, the consultancy group called the shale gas development in Europe inevitable. However, geological, economic and regulatory obstacles have affected European exploration for natural gas. The report stated, for example, that shale gas layers are on average 50% deeper in Europe than in North America, while production costs could be at least 40% higher. Moreover, experts have found both environmental and health problems related to fracking practices. For instance, the International Energy Agency predicts that if all the world’s energy came from fracking, even the greenest and efficient drilling of the fuel could help raise global temperature by 3.5 – 4 degrees.

Nathalie Bernasconi Osterwalder, a senior international lawyer for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, stated that foreign firms, however, will not be above the law. “Consideration would have to be given to whether the bans or moratoria had been in place when the CETA entered into force.” Yet, for countries that do not have a definite stance on fracking, will be faced with problems in the future. If a European government, for example, revoked already approved drilling licenses because of environmental concerns, the government in question could be held culpable for violating the profit expectations of investors under the CETA draft.

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, click here!

Britain violates EU pollution law

On May 1st, the UK Supreme Court ruled that the British government has violated European Union air quality law by producing the highest level of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in comparison with other European capitals. The court ruled that the British government breached the EU directive, which puts emission limits on NO2, a colorless, odorless gas produced by burning fuels, which can cause respiratory conditions.

The Supreme Court could force the UK government to take certain steps to improve air quality, however, it does not have the power to issue fines against the government. All eyes are currently on Owen Patterson, UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to put into action a plan to protect people against carcinogenic fuels that release NO2.

According to an organization that advises the British government, 29,000 people die in the UK by respiration problems each year. These deaths are attributed to high levels of air pollution.

If you want to compensate for your emissions, click here!

Germany’s renewable energy leadership could weigh heavily on Europe

On Thursday April 18th, Germany reached a new maximum level of electricity production made from renewable energy of 35.9 GW. An increase in usage of electricity produced by wind power and photovoltaic energy helped surpass last year’s production level of electricity of 31.8 GW by more than 10%.

Germany, called “the world’s first major renewable energy economy” by the online news magazine Renewable energy world and its renewable energy sector hailed as “the most innovative and successful worldwide” by the United Press International, is at the forefront of the environmental movement. Germany, for example, has doubled the renewable share of its total electricity consumption in the past six years to 23% in 2012. It forecasts nearly a redoubling by the year 2025. Some areas of the country are progressive even more rapidly. In 2012,Brandenburg, Bayern, Sachsen-Anhalt  and Baden-Wüttenberg were praised in the study Bundesländervergleich Erneuerbare Energien 2012, for their quick adaptability at using an array of technologies to include in their energy mix and their increasing investment in renewable energy.

Although this data proves worthy of celebration, it comes with negative consequences. An increasing amount of electricity produced by renewable energy makes the prices of emission allowances of the ETS crash. This in turn supports a revival of cheaper coal and weighs heavy against renewable energy. Although it is not affecting Germany’s impressive push towards a low carbon economy, it will prove difficult for other European countries to follow Germany’s footsteps.

The ETS must be fixed to impulse renewable energy production.

  • Caps should be given at a specific value, but should not be absolute, e.g 300g/kWh for electricity. Hence, the ETS would not be undermined by low electricity demand due to external factors such as the financial crisis in 2008.
  • The ETS should be self-adapting. If a certain value of, for example, 290g7kWh were reached in a certain year, then the cap should be automatically reduced.

These policy measures would enable a self-corrective behavior of the ETS and solve the over allocation problem, that lead to recent price crashes.

In the mean time, since no major reforms will be made until the next reviewing of the ETS in 2015, TheCompensators*, suggest renewable energy companies to create their own level playing field by taking very cheap emission allowances out of the market.

Compensate for your emissions by clicking here!

Lindau’s Energy Team offsets its Carbon Footprint with TheCompensators*

Mitglieder des Lindauer Energieteams. Foto: Julia Genth

Members of Lindau’s Energy Team. Foto: Julia Genth

The energy team of the city of Lindau at Lake Constance is committed to climate protection in their city. Now the members have set an example: they have compensated for their entire emissions of 2012.

100.6 tons are the total emissions emitted by the ten members of the energy team. On average, the result per member of the energy team, is less than the average emissions of an average German citizen. Nevertheless, the energy team wanted to make a stand against climate change and attract attention towards their work – which is why every member compensated for their emissions through TheCompensators*.

Deleting emission certificates is not a sale of “indulgences”, emphasised team leader Julia Genth from the Municipal Planning and Building Bureau of Lindau. “Compensation can only occur on the side of saving, however, it does not replace it. Saving energy is and remains the ultimate goal,” she stated.

“Yet for us, each deleted ton of CO2 is a clear signal for climate protection and also for a better trading system. Our energy team has clearly noted that the Emission Trading Scheme is in great need of improvement. If our action causes people to think critically about the trading system, this is also a success for us,” asserted Julia Genth.

Die CO2-Fußabdrücke des Lindauer Energieteams.

CO2 footprint of Lindau’s Energy Team.

Of course, the energy team members wish to have many people to follow their example and to offset their CO2 footprint. “Above all, we would be thrilled if organisations not only calculated their CO2 footprint, but also if they were to compensate as we have done”, stated Roland Summer, member of the energy team and Market Leader for the Municipal Utilities of Lindau.

“At the moment a major problem of emissions trading is the low price for certificates. However, if emissions certificates are deleted to a great extent, the price would rise again, and investments in climate-friendly technologies would be rewarding for firms. In the end, compensating would lead to very concrete improvements for both the environment and the climate”, said Sommer.

Are you convinced? Then compensate for your emissions!

Confirmed: Who Supports TheCompensators*, Makes a Change!

Phineo: It makes a differece!Last year, the work of TheCompensators* was critically scrutinized by the independent research and consulting organisation Phineo.

Today we have made yet another accomplishment: our commitment for the fight against climate change is worth the effort and your donations.

On April 18th Phineo confirmed the effectiveness of our involvement in the European emissions trading with their approval label [link in German].

“With TheCompensators* anyone can buy pollution rights from the emissions trading market. Each deleted certificate helps the air and says: Climate protection needs stricter rules,” stated Phineo analysts.

Phineo, as  a non-profit corporation, pursues the goal of strengthening civic engagement in Germany. The Phineo list of effective initiatives serves businesses and individuals who want to contribute to society, as a guide and source of ideas.

Read more about TheCompensators* and Phineo.

Or compensate your emissions right away and make a difference!

EU Parliament decision is another setback in the fight against climate change

TheCompensators*The decision taken on Tuesday April 17th, is yet another hit to an effective fight against climate change. On this day, the European Parliament, decided to reject the proposal of backloading 900 billion emission allowances from the ETS. Backloading, although agreeably not the best method to counteract the oversupply of allowances in the ETS, was a short-term solution to help raise the price of carbon until a stronger reform were enacted. However, as predicted by experts, immediately after the vote, the price of emission allowances decreased reaching the new record low of €2.63. Analysts predict that the price will continue to fall in the upcoming months.

The ETS was meant to serve as a guide to help the European Union achieve its emission targets. For the year 2020, the EU had committed to cut its emissions to 20% below 1990 levels. For 2050, EU leaders certified the objective of reducing Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% compared to 1990 levels. With the recent vote, it is hard to predict if the EU will achieve its targets at all. Further, the decision has tattered Europe’s reputation as a global leader in the fight against climate change.

TheCompensators* believe that our work has become more important than ever. Since the European Parliament has not agreed in a reform, we believe that TheCompensators* and all our supporters need to take serious action. It is our job to reduce the number of pollution rights in the ETS to not only reduce emissions of green house gases, but also to give renewable energy a chance to become price competitive. Given the most recent events, the momentum towards a greener and sustainable future must be renewed and strengthened.

The ever-falling carbon price must be halted in order to keep the EU on track with its emission targets. Struck with disappointment due to the recent decisions, TheCompensators* want to assure our supporters that we will continue campaigning in favor of a zero-carbon society that will help avoid dangerous climate change. The world is in grave danger and this affects each and every single one of us. Together, with the help of our members and supporters we hope to avert a dreadful future.

To help us in our mission, please click here!

Members of Parliament reject backloading proposal

Today with a vote of 334 against and 315 in support, Members of the European Parliament rejected the plans to delay or backload the sale of 900 million carbon allowances. With the outcome, businesses and green groups were left disappointed and critics have questioned the existence of the ETS and believe that the EU has damaged its reputation as a global leader in the fight against climate change.

The backloading proposal was defeated mainly by a coalition of centre-right Members of Parliament who opposed the plans on the grounds that a higher carbon price would interference with the market-based mechanism and could lead to higher energy bills in Europe. Also, parliament members who are skeptic of climate change rejected any steps to try and fix the system.

Analysts and economists predict that the decision will cause the price of carbon to hit record low prices in the upcoming days since the market will be fixed from its excessive oversupply of allowances. In the aftermath of the vote, the price of carbon had all ready fallen down to a new record low of €2.63 a tone. Energy and climate ministers of Germany, France, Italy, the UK, Sweden and Denmark stated that the rejection of the backloading plan would divide member states making each state pursue their own carbon taxes or reforms, for example, the UK’s controversial carbon floor price.

Given todays decision, attention will be focused on the European Commission for a wider package of reforms to be designed possibly for the fourth phase of the ETS. Sadly, a package of reforms is unlikely to be written anytime soon and the ETS is unlikely to see any fundamental changes until 2015 at the earliest. All eyes will be on the European Commission to design reforms such as through a permanent retirement of excess carbon allowances, tighter limits on the number of carbon offsets that can be used in the market, or lower emissions caps on those firms covered by the scheme: all possible solutions to fix an oversupply of allowances.

On future changes to the ETS, EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard stated, “the proposal will now go back to the parliament’s Environment Committee for further consideration. Europe needs a robust carbon market to meet our climate targets and spur innovation. The commission remains convinced that backloading would help restore confidence in the EU ETS in the short term until we decide on more structural measures.”

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, click here!

Carbon allowances given out for free using outdated information

According to a new study new study led by CE Delft an independent research and consultancy organization, the European Commission is currently using an “outdated” list that grants free carbon emission allowances to industries, which have a risk of relocation abroad also known as carbon leakage. If the carbon leakage assessment would be brought into like with current data, according to CE Delft’s analysis, the number of industrial recipients that would receive free allowances would be halved.

In 2009, when the EU’s impact assessment was released, the European Commission agreed to grant free allowances to 60% of the sectors that are covered by the ETS to reduce the risk of carbon leakage. Bryony Worthington, founder of the environmental group Sandbag stated that the EU’s 2009 impact assessment, using today’s data is completely outdated and irrelevant.

CE Delft’s study, found three flawed assumptions that no longer hold in today’s world.

  • Carbon prices were expected to hit €30 a tone by 2020. However, carbon prices are currently between €4 and €5 a tone – and could even fall to zero if the back loading proposal is rejected in the European Parliament next week.
  • Exposed sectors were slated to overshoot their benchmarked free allowances by 60%. Yet due to the economic recession, “an exposure rate of 20% now seems more likely”.
  • Non-EU countries were not predicted be participate in the ETS. However, countries such as Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein have already joined the scheme and in addition, Australia and Switzerland are set to link up with the ETS in 2015.

Damien Morris, a senior policy officer for Sandbag, stated that, “in total, manufacturing sectors accrued roughly 680 million spare allowances over 2008-2011 worth some €10.5 billion as a result of what the Commission has previously called an ‘unintended over-allocation’.” If a new list were to be developed to decide free allocation, firms that would work with crude oil and natural gas extraction would still be entitled to free allowances. However, industries such as cement, basic iron and steel, refined petroleum, lime and paper would need to auction their allowances.

The European Commission has acknowledged that its carbon leakage list is outdated, and hopes to implement a new benchmarking list in 2016.

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, please click here!

German government split on back loading decision

The German government does not find common grounds in the debate to repair the ETS. Today, Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier made an announcement that EU countries should push for a shortage of emission rights that should be sold in the ETS. In response, Economy Minister Phillip Roesler strongly refused such a political intervention on the carbon market.

This discussion was sparked due to the decision that will take place next Tuesday concerning back loading emission allowances. The idea is to take emission rights out of the market for two years. Such a decision would stop the dramatic fall in the price of emission allowances, which lingers at the moment lingers between 3 to 4 Euros. The price drop occurred due to an overloading of emission rights that was caused by the economic crisis.

To bring his point across, Minister Roesler canceled his visit to Turkey to combat the decision of back loading allowances. According to Roesler, back loading would hurt the economic competitiveness not only in Germany, but also the Euro-crisis countries like Spain, Greece and now Cyprus.

Altmaier however, with his counterparts from France, Italy, Great Britain, Sweden and Denmark support the policy of back loading, as it will “fix the system that is in need of much reform.” “Emission trading is in deep crisis, he stated. “If we do not strengthen the system now, then eight years of climate efforts have been in vain,” he added.

If you would like to make your own statement to reform the ETS, click here and compensate for your emissions!

California Governor agrees on carbon market link with Quebec

On April 10th, California Governor Jerry Brown approved a proposal to link California’s carbon market system with a similar program in Quebec, a step that would allow companies to trade carbon permits across borders. Starting next January, both carbon markets will be interconnected allowing more than 350 companies in the U.S. and 75 firms in Canada to buy and sell emissions permits.

Governor Brown sent a letter on Monday to the California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) where he confirmed that California’s carbon market had met all the minimum requirements to share its emissions trading platform with Quebec.

The benefits gained from both systems joining are numerous. California’s Air Resource Board has stated that a link with Quebec would expand investments in low-carbon technologies, many of which are being already developed in California. Also, a link between systems would further improve market liquidity for carbon allowances by increasing the pool of both permits and companies trading them. Moreover, the reduction in CO2 emissions achieved by combining the two programs would be larger than cuts made by both systems trading alone.

California launched its trading platform six months ago, in the hope that their carbon market would be part of a Western states unified system. However, no other state has stepped up to the plate and committed to run a similar market. So far, only the Canadian province has decided to join in. The hope is that, with a link between Quebec and California, more states will follow.

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, please click here!

Climate change will increase turbulence

A few days ago, a paper was published by scientists Dr. Paul D Williams and Dr. Manoj M. Joshi which assessed the impact of global warming on weather systems over the next four decades. The study concludes that climate change will cause an increase in turbulence in the North Atlantic, one of the world’s busiest routes, by the middle of the century. The study found that the frequency of turbulence on the flights between Europe and North America will double in occurrence by 2050 and its intensity will increase by 10-40%.

According to Dr. Williams, the reason for an increase in turbulence is because climate change does not just simply warm the lower part of the atmosphere. Climate change also accelerates the jet stream, a fast flowing air current, and modifies its position. A greater acceleration makes the atmosphere susceptible to the instability in airflow that causes turbulence.

Although more turbulence might not necessarily mean more aviation crashes, the study suggests that more passengers and aircrew members will be injured and that there will be more delays and damages to planes. Currently, turbulence causes about $150 million a year in damages to planes and other expenses, said Dr. Williams. There is a high chance overall industry costs would rise as turbulence intensifies in the upcoming years, he stated.

The shifting of the jet stream over Europe has also been blamed for the UK’s record rainfall in 2012 and the current Arctic-like Spring in the Northern hemisphere.

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, click here!

Allowance canceling paper published by the OECD

In 2010, the OECD published a paper by Anja Kollmuss and Michael Lazarus from the Stockholm Environment Institute concerning the purchase of emission allowances. The paper explored scenarios under which a common citizen could voluntarily purchase and cancel allowances and thus, reduce the greatest amount of CO2 emissions and the benefits of carbon markets.

The authors argue that opportunities to buy and cancel emission allowances do exist, but in small quantities. If such practice remains limited to individuals and voluntary corporate buyers, it is unlikely to drastically alter the price of allowances. However, this could change if sub-national actors such as cities or states decide to voluntarily cancel allowances.

The authors agree that reducing ones own emissions does not necessarily mean a reduction of overall CO2 emissions for a nation. In reality, an emission leakage could occur. Simply reducing ones own emissions, (i.e using LED light bulbs, energy efficient appliances, etc.) is not enough as it allows power companies to buy fewer emission permits (meaning it allows other firms to use these permits and pollute) or enables them to sell spare permits to someone else. According to the authors, additional emissions reductions will only be achieved if the voluntary actor cancels allowances commensurate with their own emissions reductions. This will assure that the emissions are effectively deleted and will be counted towards the national cap.

The authors concluded that, CDM projects have great benefits in the short and medium term such as job creation and emission reduction. However, in the medium and long term, all actors must reduce their emission levels and thus additional emission reduction can be successfully achieved through allowance cancellation.

A big hit to ETS transparency

When buying and deleting emissions allowances from the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, TheCompensators* have always published the ID numbers of these pollutions rights. Recently, we have noticed that it is no longer possible to access the ID numbers.

This is a hard hit to the transparency of the ETS! It affects our work, because TheCompensators* are not able anymore to pass on certificate numbers to donors for their deleted certificates. This means, our donors will not be able to have a trackable proof of their their deleted emissions allowance.

We have contacted the European Commisson’s Directorate General for Climate Action which is accounts for the EU ETS to understand the reasons behind this important change. They have confirmed that the omission of ID numbers in any kind of transaction will be permanent.

The reason for the current change is to improve the security of the ETS and its emission certificates to avoid fraud. TheCompensators* understand that there has been a need for changes in order to improve security.

However we think tIhat it is a blow to transparency. TheCompensators* are strong supporters of the ID system because, in our opinion, it was highly effective as it served to track every single certificate sold and used or deleted permanently.

For TheCompensators* that change means that we will need another way to track our deleted pollution rights. We are therefore, developing a new strategy how to best disclose our purchase and retiring of emissions certificates in order to guarantee complete transparency in our work.

We want to assure our donors and supporters that when they donate to our organization, they are making a positive change in reforming climate policies in Europe. Further, we want to assure them that we are following our commitment of fighting climate change with full transparency.

If you would like to compensate for your emissions and would like to know the numbers of your certificates, please write us an e-mail. As soon as we will have set-up our own tracking system, we will be able to communicate your ID number.

China and Australia agree on an Asia-Pacific Carbon Market

A growing concern of China and Australia of climate change has forged an alliance to reduce carbon emissions through an Asia-Pacific Carbon Market. On March 27, Australian and Chinese officials stated that both countries are working to develop their individual carbon trading markets as a first step towards an Asia-Pacific carbon market. The announcement was made by Greg Combet, the Australian Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation, and H.E. Xie Zhenhua, the Vice Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission at the Australia-China Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Change.

China is the world’s largest carbon emitter while Australia is the world’s highest per-capita carbon emitter among developed nations. The two countries have decided to cooperate in an attempt to limit carbon emissions. China aims to move to a national emissions trading scheme after the year 2015 while on their part, Australia has set a carbon price that will transition to an emissions trading scheme in 2015.

“In the future, we would like to work towards the development of an Asia-Pacific carbon market including major emerging economies like China and South Korea,” Mr Combet said. “This would expand coverage of the carbon market, provide more low-cost abatement opportunities and reduce the possibility of carbon leakage,” he added

On their own behalf, China has started to implement seven pilot projects that cover around one-third of China’s GDP and one-fifth of its energy use. The industrial powerhouse province of Guangdong, China launched its carbon market in September of 2012. The Guangdong scheme, for example, is expected to cover more than 800 companies that emit more than 20,000 tonnes of  CO2 a year across nine industries, including the energy-intensive steel and power sectors. The Guangdong scheme will regulate around 277 million tones of CO2 emissions by 2015. China will launch the six remaining schemes this year, in the province of Hubei and in the municipalities of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing and Shenzhen. Once up and running, these schemes will be linked to a nationwide scheme by the end of the decade; that would then be linked to other international carbon markets in the future.

China and Australia´s openness to the possibility of linking their carbon markets with other emissions trading schemes around the world is further evidence of growing international cooperation on climate change.

To compensate for your emissions, please click here!

Transparency with a CO2 price tag

Apples from Australia, wine from South Africa and beef originated from Argentina in open refrigerated shelves – this indicates a bad CO2 balance. And from this we do not know any details. The environmental costs of supermarket products remain in the dark. Environmentally conscious consumers need such information to make better choices.

We want to change this! Therefore we will take part at the Lüneburg 2013 Wirk Camp and are hoping for your support. In our group, we want to develop a new project: the CO2 price tag.

We want to develop a second price tag system that will include everyday shopping items such as food or drug products intended to reflect the CO2 balance starting from the production facility all the way to the supermarket shelf – and make the environmental costs affordable. We will reflect together on how exactly this idea is easiest to put into practice.

Are you interested in the project? Then take a look at the website of the Wirk Camp – and sign up! (only in German)

Arctic Spring

Climate scientists have linked the massive snowstorms and abnormally cold spring weather that is being experienced across large parts of Northern Europe and North America to the dramatic loss of Artic Sea ice.

On Monday, ice records published by the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado showed an alarming decrease in Arctic Ice. Both the coverage and the volume of the sea ice that forms and melts each year in the Arctic Ocean fell to an all time historic low last autumn. The results on Monday also show how the ice extent is close to the minimum recorded for this time of the year.

According to Jennifer Francis, research professor with the Rutgers Institute of Coastal and Marine Science, the Arctic Ice is currently 80% less than it was just 30 years ago. According to Francis, the dramatic loss of sea ice “is a symptom of global warming and it contributes to enhanced warming of the Arctic.”

According to Jennifer Francis and other researchers, such as, Vladimir Petoukhov, professor at the Potsdam Institute in Germany, the Arctic Ice loss adds heat to the ocean and atmosphere which shifts the position of the jet stream – a fast flowing, narrow air currents found in the atmosphere which is able to have an effect on weather patterns.

A recent paper by the US government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also found that enhanced warming of the Arctic influenced weather across the northern hemisphere. The heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures that are currently experienced in the northern hemisphere show a stark contrast to March of 2012 where countries experienced their warmest springs ever. Scientists hypothesize that changing wind patterns caused by the melting of Arctic Sea ice has transferred massive amounts of cold air into the atmosphere. According to the scientists, new amounts of cold air into the atmosphere would explain both extremes of warm and cold temperatures that are being experienced.

Researchers state that, with more solar energy radiating the Arctic Ocean, there is reason to expect more extreme weather events, such as heavy snowfall, heat waves, and flooding in North America and Europe.”

If you would like to fight climate change, make sure to compensate for your emissions!

Advancing the Post 2015 Sustainable Agenda: Results

The 3 day long conference in Bonn, Germany allowed civil societies to cover new ground, find new partnerships and spread their voice and experience concerning the Millennium Development Goals.

During the 3-day conference, civil societies expressed their discontent due to the lack of progress made since their establishment following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000. A recent study presented by Mr. Homi Kharas, for example, stated that extreme poverty will be eradicated by the year 2030. However, NGOs such as Amnesty International and Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) were outraged to think that a $1.25 is the measure used to target extreme poverty. In their opinion, the bar should be raised and thus to make a greater effort in eradicating poverty.

On the topic of climate change, civil societies, such as, Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, GCAP, TheCompensators*, Construyendo Puentes, among others expressed their interest and discussed strategies to link climate change to other pressing problems. In their opinion, climate change should work interconnected to other issues such as gender inequality, disease control, poverty and sustainability to truly bring about a holistic solution. Moreover, these civil societies stated that the next Millennium Development Goals should include targets that focus on adaptation, mitigation and renewable energies. Further, they expressed interest for upcoming climate talks to focus on an across the board carbon tax and to develop low-carbon societies.

The results of the conference will be presented at the UN high-level panel meeting that takes place from March 25th to the 27th in Bali, Indonesia. The Bali Conference will seek to determine a vision for future development policy.

To compensate for your emissions click here!

Open Letter to Angela Merkel

Compensate!On March 18th, economic, social and climate scientists wrote an open letter (only in German) to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in support of structural reforms to the EU-ETS. The letter signed by 40 top scholars – from schools with strong programs focused on climate change, ranging from the University of California at Berkeley, the Helmholtz Center for Environment Research, the Free University of Berlin and Plymouth University, to name a few – criticized the lack of attention and a lack of a clear position given by the German federal government to Europe’s key framework to achieve its emission reduction targets.

The letter stated that reforms to the ETS are of “fundamental importance” for Europe’s climate policy and the German energy transition. Furthermore, the letter called for urgent action. “Structural reforms of emissions trading are necessary to create long-term shortage of emission certificates, and thus a more efficient framework for climate-friendly investments,” specified the letter.

The group of scholars strongly supported the momentary policy of back loading 900,000 million allowances from the system calling it “necessary” to restore confidence in the emissions trading scheme and to gain time for long-term, structural reforms.

Of great concern is also how the EU-ETS is seen internationally. The letter noted, that if the EU-ETS is not reformed, Europe will lose credibility in future international cooperation projects. This rings true especially with carbon markets being developed in several provinces of China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and a few states in the US.

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, click here!

Compensating becomes cheaper again

Compensate!Compensating has become cheaper again! Due to a high overallocation, the prices for pollution rights in the ETS have dropped significantly over the last months.

TheCompensators* have now bought new certificates – and we have paid 4,95 euros per emissions allowance. As always, this price is the basis for “our” price for compensation. We add a premium of 10% for fees and other costs (like our website and our bank account). Thus, the new price for compensation with TheCompensators* from now on is 5.45 euros per tonne of CO2.

The current price for emissions is far too low, a backload of pollution rights as planned by the European Union is more than urgent. However, this price also allows us to retire much more emissions certificates forever. It also makes your donation to TheCompensators* a lot more effective: with the same amount of money, together we are able to compensate for more emissions than ever before!

Compensate your emissions straight away!

TheCompensators*: advancing the post-2015 sustainable agenda

TheCompensators* are proud to announce our participation at the conference “Advancing the Post-2015 Sustainable Agenda.” The conference will take place on March 20 – 22 in Bonn Germany. It will bring together 250 civil society activists, non-governmental organizations and representatives from key stakeholders to discuss on some of the most pressing issues today.

With the upcoming expiration of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015, discussion and consultation processes are taking place all over the globe. The purpose of the conference is to draw together civil society inputs into the Sustainable Development and Post-2015 discussions. Further, the conference strives to bring together key actors in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development discussion helping them to exchange information, learn from each other benefiting from our sector’s diversity and agree joint demands and strategy where possible.

At the conference, TheCompensators* will champion our ideals and will stress the need of a zero-carbon society in the Post 2015 Agenda.

If you want to support our work, click here and compensate for your emissions!

Clean transport faces a screeching halt

Yesterday, in a EU transport meeting, member states were unsupportive of a huge infrastructure package which would help boost the EU’s low carbon vehicle industry. Member states showed a lack of support as such a large package would require a large amount of public funds to finance. The meeting widely discussed Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas’s proposition to multiply by 10 times the number of both recharging and refueling points for vehicles that run on alternative fuels such as electricity, hydrogen and gas.

At the Council meeting yesterday, EU states objected at the spending needed to realize these goals by 2020. EU states particularly contested an obligation for 10% of charging points to be of no cost. Ireland’s transport minister, Leo Vradkar, acknowledged that he was against the proposal as he questioned the feasibility of such project given the timeline. Further, Vradkar showed concern since low carbon vehicle technology is still evolving. “No-one wants to invest large amounts of money in a technology that might turn out to be obsolete quite quickly,” he stated.

If passed, the proposal would mandates a 300 km maximum distance between hydrogen fuel cell refueling stations. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) filling stations would be separated by 400 km. Compressed Natural Gas filling stations would be found every 150km. For electric vehicles, the EU’s plans would see recharging points increase according to each member state’s low carbon car production plans. In the UK, for example, stations would increase from 703 last year to 1.22 million in 2020. In Germany, the increase in stations would be from 1,937 to 1.5 million. Finally, France would have an increase from 1,600 to 970,000 stations.

If the proposal were to pass, Europe would be one step closer in achieving its goal of reducing carbon emissions, as cars are responsible for 12% of Europe’s carbon emissions. Further, it would relieve dependence from oil use and help diversify Europe’s energy mix, as the EU’s transportation network is 94% dependent on oil, of which 84.3% is often imported from politically or economically unstable regions. Lastly, it would help maintain competitiveness in the global clean cars race which involves countries like the US, China and Japan.

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, click here!

Poland loses lawsuit against the ETS at the EU General Court

On Thursday, The European Union’s General Court rejected a challenge by Poland over the free allocation of carbon permits to energy-intensive industries.

Poland argued that the rules for free allocation of CO2 permits of the ETS do not take into account the countries situation of being an emerging Eastern European economy with its businesses heavily reliant on coal. Moreover, the country asserted that the method of allocation of free allowances affected a country’s right of deciding its own energy mix. However, the General Court in Luxembourg disagreed with this call.

The General Court stated that the allocation of free carbon allowances is fully accordant with the law and that the Polish complaint had no basis. Further, the Court rejected Poland’s claims that the current system will decrease the competitiveness of companies in the EU whom are dependent of coal.

If Poland seeks to appeal the courts decision, the case will have to be disputed at the European Court of Justice.

Method of Allocation

The method the ETS allocates emission allowances are by firstly giving out free allowances to companies. If companies exceed the given level, they can either choose to buy more allowances through the ETS or to invest in new technology to reduce their carbon emissions. Such a move may result in companies having extra permits to sell to others.

TheCompensators* applaud the decision of the General Court. In essence, the dispute centers on the idea of whether countries in Eastern Europe, which have had limited time to adapt their economies to use greener technologies should have more flexibility to pollute. Given the low price of carbon allowances, TheCompensators* believe that this will not hurt the competitiveness of businesses in Eastern European companies especially when they are given free carbon permits. Further, to avoid buying permits, businesses should have the incentive to invest in green technology instead of contesting an already weak system.  

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, click here!

Two new ambitious structural measures

Today, the European Parliament’s Industry Committee is proposing two ambitious structural measures. Members of the Parliament will vote on these proposals next week which seek to limit the amount of carbon allowances in the EU- ETS, and to consider implementing a carbon price floor. These two new proposals are a result of the inexplicably cancelled vote last week on fast-tracking negotiations with EU states to back load 900 million allowances.

The proposal seeks to remove carbon allowances off the market by steepening the 1.74% annual decline in numbers allocated to member states. The 1.74% annual decline would only achieve a 70% reduction in emissions by 2050, according to the Commission. The carbon price floor is still to be determined.

Politicians are uneasy about supporting any of these proposals. They are against even the slightest increase in electricity prices especially with the current financial crisis. Concerning the back loading proposal, Germany remains undecided on the proposed carbon market reforms with the Environment Minister Peter Altmaier supporting it and the Economy Minister Philipp Rösler opposed. In the European Parliament, there is also a clear split. The European People’s Party bloc and European Conservatives and Reformists remain opposed to back loading, while the Socialists and Democrats, Greens, most Liberals and the far-left bloc clearly support it.

Chris Davies, an environment committee member stated, “Back loading is likely to have a minimal effect on prices.” “It is just a mechanism to try to ensure that the carbon market can continue to function,” he added. These two new proposals however, will further try ensure that the ETS continues to lead Europe in to a low carbon economy.

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, please click here.

Combatting a surplus of Kyoto Allowances

At the Doha COP climate conference last November, the parities came to a decision concerning the large surplus of Assigned Amount Units (AAUs or carbon allowances) from the First Kyoto Commitment Period (CP1) (2008-2012) to the Second Kyoto Commitment Period (CP2) (2013-2020). The decision also tried to solve how to prevent an even further accumulation of a surplus in the CP2.

The surplus in CP1 is around 13 billion tonnes of CO2 allowances. Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, the UK and Germany are the largest surplus holders. There are various reasons for the accumulation of AAUs in various countries. For some countries emission targets were very weak. At the time when the targets for the Kyoto protocol were defined, emissions for some countries were already below the targets established for CP1. Other countries have also had a drastic reduction in their emissions due to the low production levels caused by the economic crisis.

There are three important decision made concerning this topic at COP 18:

  • A carry over of allowances from CP1 to CP2 is allowed, however, there are limits set on their use in CP2.
  • It is impossible for countries that have dropped out of the Kyoto Protocol (i.e Russia or Canada) to sell their surplus allowances.
  • Countries have a restriction on the number of AAUs a country initially receives for CP2.

To read in greater detail about the decisions made concerning the surplus of allowances, please read the paper Doha Decisions on the Kyoto Surplus Explained published by Carbon Market Watch.

If you would like to compensate for your emissions, click here

EU, a strong supporter of a “Decent Life”

Today, the European Commission is discussing the successor of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s), the “Decent Life for All” plan. The plan supported by the EU will seek to fight poverty and encourage environmental protection by merging both goals into a single framework.

The eight targets of the MDG’s were agreed in 2000 with the targets due date expiring in 2015. Many of the targets will be unfulfilled. One goal, for example, is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Studies carried out by the UN show that 1.4 billion people live in extreme poverty, 2.6 billion people, do not have access to latrines, 1 billion lack potable water and more than 800 million people suffer from chronic hunger.

All 27 EU members are meeting to support a post-2015 development plan that commits to helping finance poverty reduction through sustainable growth. All members – despite deep economic and financial troubles faced – will pursue these goals.

Andris Piebalgs, EU Development Commissioner, stated that the new “Decent Life” framework is directed at improving living standards, promoting sustainable development, political empowerment, protection of natural resources, fostering peace and security and ensuring global “equality, equity and justice.”

The UN General Assembly will meet this upcoming autumn to discuss ways to accelerate progress before 2015, the new target year of goals, and start an agreement on what could follow after 2015.

To make a difference before 2015, start by compensating for your emissions.

Debunking the online shopping myth

The Süddeutsche Zeitung, a prestigious German newspaper, published an article in which it sought to debunk the myth that online shopping is better for the environment.

Many companies have championed online shopping as it reduces carbon emissions from costumers. According to the theory, with the click of a mouse, customers can simply obtain their desired goods without leaving the comfort of their home and thus, avoiding carbon emissions. The company German Post DHL, for example, has calculated that shipping a package via its delivery system creates less than 500 grams of CO2 emissions. However, as reported in the article, these calculations are far from the truth.

Carriers will transport the product to the customers home. But, if no one is to be found they will bring it back to the warehouse. Depending on the carrier, they will try to deliver the product up to three times. Afterwards, the buyer will have to go pick it up himself. Further, a good bought on the web, has the disadvantage that one does not have a “feel” for the product. The customer might end up not like the product after all. On average, one in three ordered product will be sent back to the store. This makes an annual total of more than 250 million returned packets. As seen in these examples, e-commerce can be more harmful than beneficial.

TheCompensators* believe that one can seek to improve these practices. Through CO2 compensation, one can make up for the CO2 produced by e-commerce. Also, TheCompensators* recommend shopping through Planet Help. By doing so, one can support a listed NGO without any additional cost. E-commerce might have its disadvantages, but with these tips one is able to make up for them.

If you would like to compensate for your shopping emissions, click here.

Donate to TheCompensators* through the Klimarebellen (Climate Rebels)

There are more and more ways to donate to TheCompensators*. The initiative Klimarebellen (Climate Rebels) by the cooperative society Zukunftswerk has recently started offering compensation services with a new approach: they combine compensation through CDM projects with a donation to a non-profit organization working on climate protection. For every 7 euros, you can delete one tonne of CO2 and donate 3.25 euros to an NGO.

TheCompensators* are proud to announce that we are one of the NGOs you can choose when offsetting with the Klimarebellen!

If you want to learn more about Klimarebellen, have a look at their website [only in German].

Or, if you like our work, donate directly to TheCompensators* by offsetting your emissions!

Europe, on track to achieve 100% renewable energy in 2050

A recent report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), based on analysis made by the Dutch consultancy Ecofys, stated that Europe is on track to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050 given that the bloc signs up to achieve ambitious energy policy goals. The report acknowledged that the goal is realistic although, it would require big improvements in energy efficiency, coupled with greater developments in wind, solar and green transport fuel technologies.

The report could not be published at a better time, as talks will begin today in Brussels to replace the existing 2020 goals to focus on goals for the year 2030. The report found that to make this goal a reality, targets for 2030 should include energy savings of at least 38% compared with business as usual levels, 40% of fuel should come from renewable sources and carbon emissions should be reduced by 50%.

An assesment published on 2011 by the European Commission stated that Europe is on track to reach and even overshoot its CO2 emissions target by 0.9%, and to meet its renewable energy target. EU states have committed that by 2020 they would cut carbon emissions by 20%, increase the share of renewables in their energy mixes to 20%, and improve their energy efficiency by 20%. However, the existing efficiency target is the only non-binding target of the 2020 goals and has proved very hard to meet by all sides. This is the only target that according to estimations will not be achieved.

According to the assessment, countries with high biomass usage such as Sweden, Estonia and Romania have almost reached the 20% target while Britain, Malta and the Netherlands will need to make greater efforts to accomplish the goal. Italy and Lithuania, the assessment added, will only do so with the help of cooperation mechanisms.

If you want to help Europe achieve its CO2 emission goals, click here to compensate for your emissions.

Interactive Carbon Market Map

Did you know Kazakhstan has an Emissions Trading System (ETS) in force or that China is running at the moment 3 different ETS pilot systems?

Now, thanks to the Interactive ETS map developed by the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP), you can find out the latest information about carbon market systems around the world!

The map allows users to visualize the status of ETS in other countries, to access information on the schemes and to compare and contrast the various systems.

About ICAP: ICAP was established in October 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal. It is an open forum led by public authorities and governments of countries or regions that have implemented or are pursuing the implementation of a carbon market.

To make a statement towards the improvement of the EU-ETS, compensate your emissions!

Members of the Parliament want to stop the decline of carbon emission prices

Today, a group of lawmakers of the European Parliament’s Environmental Committee voted in favor of  “back loading” 900 million allowances from auction and thus creating a market scarcity in the ETS. The vote was passed with 38 members in favor and 25 against showing a slightly larger margin of victory than initially expected. Due to this favorable result, the back loading plan will now be considered by the European Parliament in April. If the parliament were to approve the plan, the number of emission allowances sold in the market would be substantially reduced.

The over allocation of carbon allowances has harmed the EU-ETS with prices stagnating at €4. In January of this year, the ETS suffered its greatest drop in price with allowances being sold at €2.81 a tonne. The back loading plan is meant to increase the stagnating price of allowances by taking out 900 million allowances momentarily from the ETS and then bringing them back into the market in 2020.

Environmentalists argue that the oversupply of allowances should be permanently deleted from the system to increase the competitiveness of green technology. On the other hand, lobbyists such as BusinessEurope argue that an increase in energy prices due to the ETS will damage Europe’s competitiveness and will increase carbon leakage.

TheCompensators* believe that the ETS should permanently retire up to 1.4 billion emissions allowances which are clearly in oversupply. Harsher measures need to be taken if Europe wants to achieve its emission reduction targets by 2020 and also properly rescue the ETS.

Time to take Action

The European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is not functioning as planned. In 2011 the cost of an emission certificate was 17 euros. Today, companies pay only 3 or 4 euros per tonne of emitted CO2. In January, the German federal government stopped an  auctio of allowances because the demand was not high enough.  In an article, the newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung” criticised the system because “polluters have hardly if any incentive to invest in emissions-reducing technology.”

The price decline has far reaching implications and threatens especially the successful implementation of the 2020 German climate targets. For example, funding for the renovation of buildings to decrease their CO2 consumption, urban energy renovation and energy research and development, for example in the field of electric mobility are all supposed to be financed under the ETS-powered Energy and Climate Fund. The federal government had expected to earn 10 euros per sold certificate.
Nevertheless, not only the federal government is affected. German companies are also worried about their income from certificate sales. In an appeal to Chancellor Angela Merkel, a group of companies such as Alstom, EnBW, E.ON, Otto, Puma and Shell as well as the non-governmental organization German Watch jointly called to protect investments made towards climate friendly technology. The “one-time removal of surplus emission allowances from the market” is absolutely necessary”, said the joint statement and added: “specifically, we ask the federal government,  to approve the proposal of the European Commission to change the schedule for the auction of emissions allowances. “In addition, we ask for a more stringent annual adjustment during the issuance of new certificates.

Christoph Bals, political director of the NGO German Watch, stated: “The federal government has, thanks to the uncertainty of the economy minister not even its own position to repair the system of emission trading. All of Europe is waiting for Germany to take action… therefore, more and more companies require the federal government to take the lead.”

Through TheCompensators*, you help save the ETS. With the help of your donation, we will be able to buy emissions certificates at the current low prices and delete them forever from the system. Get started now!

Gift Certificates for any occasion!


One of the most common questions we receive from donors is: Can one give away emission certificates as a present? Sure you can and not just for Christmas!

We currently offer three different types of certificates. You can learn how it works exactly when you visit our new page for gift certificates.

You want to donate and need no gift certificate then click here!

TheCompensators* gain their first member company

TheCompensators* have gained for the first time a company as a supporter! We would like to give a cordial welcome to the publishing house Monsenstein & Vannerdat as a new member and supporter of TheCompensators* e.V. The publishing company is compensating for their entire annual emissions through us.

So far, only private individuals had opted for a membership with TheCompensators*. Yet, according to our statute our membership is also available to so called legal persons such as companies or other associations. We are very pleased that through our actions and campaigns, we have been able to successfully convince a company of joining us.

“In the fight against climate change, the commitment of every
individual is very important. Companies, in particular, can set a good
example in this area,” says the chairman of TheCompensators*,
Antonella Battaglini. “By compensating through the European Emissions
Trading Scheme (EU ETS), we recognize it as the main tool of the EU in
the fight against climate change. We support the system and ensure
through compensation that the system can be highly effective.”

“The publishing company Monsenstein & Vannerdat has already done much to
reduce its greenhouse emissions. It is only logical to compensate for
the entirety of its emissions, so as to be carbon neutral,” says
Florian Zickfeld, Vice Chairman of TheCompensators*. “Monsenstein & Vannerdat is
symbol for what a company can do for effective climate policy.” The company, for example, uses almost exclusively FSC-certified paper from sustainable forests,
and transports all its books in a CO2 neutral fashion. Further, the
company uses only electricity produced from renewable sources and uses
low-carbon emission heating.

Prior to their decision of working with TheCompensators*, the
publishing house Monsenstein & Vannerdat researched the various
options for compensation, says Johannes Monse, publishing director at
Monsenstein & Vannerdat. Finally, the company decided that it was
best to work alongside TheCompensators*.

“We found various compensation methods from reputable vendors that
were rather convincing, however, TheCompensators* work voluntarily,”
says Johannes Monse. “We like this aspect because it greatly increases
their credibility.”

The management of the publishing house also appreciated the fact
that the TheCompensators* was founded by scientists that deal
with climate impact research. “From this, we concluded that it was
ideal to support the institution that has the clearest expertise,”
Monse stated.

The publishing director praises the fact that TheCompensators* “delete
certificates and do not finance projects.” “Through this method, we
have a very direct reference to the changes made through our
compensation. With a funded project it is never clear what percentage
of the donation is going directly towards the cause and how much stays
within the organization.”

If you also like our organization, you too can compensate for your emissions through us!

Our most successful Christmas Action so far!

christmas-certificate-smallTheCompensators* would like to thank all their donators, members and supporters for making our 2012 Christmas action the most successful one so far. During the month of December, we sold and eliminated a total of 87 certificates and thus collecting a grand total of 620 euros of donations!

At the Alt Rixdorfer Christmas Market in Berlin, Germany, TheCompensators* sold a total of 64 Christmas certificates.

Also, through our online advent calendar we were able to inform about the dangers of global warming and as a result sold 23 more certificates.

If you would like to give out a carbon certificate as a present, you do not have to wait until next Christmas. Our gift certificates are now available all year long!

We would like to give a special recognition to Zsofi Lang for
designing our Christmas certificates and Antonio Acerbi for designing
our advent calendar.

If you would like to donate to our organization, please click here!

Modest Results at the UN Climate Conference

On December 7th, the long awaited UN Climate Conference came to an end. For two weeks, negotiators from 200 countries met in Doha, Qatar to debate on how to slow global warming and on concrete measures to protect vulnerable countries from the impacts of climate change.

The package of decisions included an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, weak affirmations of adopting a new global climate pact that would affect all countries by 2015 and vague promises to help poor countries face the challenges of climate change.

Summary of the results:

  • Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol was extended until 2020 to fill a momentary gap until a global treaty is agreed upon. The second phase of the Kyoto Protocol is a weaker one covering only 15% of global emissions after Canada, New Zealand, Russia and Japan decided no longer to support it.

  • Global Treaty

The decisions in Doha signaled that in the future, the talks will focus on a new global treaty that would apply to both developed and developing countries. The new treaty is expected to be agreed upon in the upcoming conferences, adopted in 2015 and take effect five years later.

  • Global Warming Fund

Global warming could include flooding of coastal cities and island nations, disruptions to agriculture and drinking water, and the spread of diseases and the extinction of species. The issue is even more important after a recent statement by the World Bank projecting temperatures to rise by up to 4 degrees Celsius by 2100.

With this in mind, poor countries especially those composed of various islands demanded for rich countries to increase their climate change aid to $100 billion annually by 2020. Rich nations, however, crippled by an ongoing financial crisis and ongoing austerity measures did not talk in much detail on measures to aid poor countries.

Dont forget to compensate for you emissions by clicking here!

Carbon markets becoming increasingly popular despite low ETS prices in 2012

Some would agree this was not a good year for carbon markets. This year the price of emission credits continued to stall due to a lack of demand for emission credits, partly due to weak CO2 reduction targets, a large surplus of certificates and the European economic crisis. Further, a few days ago, the UN Climate Conference in Doha, Qatar came to an end. From the conference, little was delivered. The conference could barely manage to ensure the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol after 2012 however, with key players like Russia and Japan discontinuing their commitment.  To make matters worse, on Wednesday December 14th, 500 police officers raided the offices of Deutsche Bank at various major German cities. The raid was lead due to an investigation of tax evasion connected with the trading of carbon permits.

Despite these troubles and disillusionment this year, carbon markets continue having a strong following across the world. The state of California will start its own carbon market in 2013 with Massachusetts soon drafting its own version. Australia will start its own carbon market in 2015, and important countries like China, India and South Korea are beginning to design one also.

Joan MacNaughton, President of the Energy Institute in the UK and senior adviser to the World Energy Council believes that carbon markets, are too valuable to let go to waste as they generate investment in emission reduction projects at the scale that is needed. According to her, “such an approach is the most efficient way to address the climate problem.”

Support carbon markets and compensate for you emissions by clicking here!

Allegations of Carbon Trading Fraud at Deutsche Bank

On Wednesday December 14th, German prosecutors raided Deutsche Bank offices in Frankfurt, Berlin and Dusseldorf, Germany, due to an alleged tax evasion scheme linked to carbon credits.  According to the authorities, 25 Deutsche Bank employees, among them the co-CEO , were suspected of serious tax evasion of hundreds of thousands of euros, money laundering and obstruction of justice.

Of the 25 under investigation, four Deutsche Bank staff workers 4 have already been sentenced to jail. The fraudulent traders are alleged to have bought millions of carbon credits outside of Europe, thereby evading strictly monitored EU taxes, and then reselling the certificates under cover.

Investigations had started since 2010 against individuals suspected of tax evasion in the trading of emission certificates.

Give deleted emission certificates as a present!

Are you looking for a Christmas present? Why not give something meaningful: climate protection!

The nations are debating how global warming might be limited and how the climate might be protected in Doha, Quatar at the moment. To date, it once again appears that the necessary decisions will not be taken.

But you have the opportunity to become active yourself in advancing climate protection! Compensate your emissions or simply send out a signal: make a donation to TheCompensators* so that we can withdraw emission rights from the European Emissions Trading Scheme and thus reduce the amount of emissions which European industries are able to emit.

If you want to give away emission certificates as a gift, send us a quick e-mail to after your donation. You will then receive a Christmas certificate in addition to your donation receipt.

Compensate now!

You can also shop your christmas presents online in order to support TheCompensators* – it won’t cost you a penny more. It’s really easy!

Obama Protects American Airline Companies

On November 27th Obama signed a bill that protects American airline companies from paying a carbon tax for each tonne they emit when flying into and out of Europe. The bill is an intricate piece of legislation as it allows the American transportation secretary the power to protect US airlines from obeying the laws of the EU ETS. The US Senate passed the bill even with the recent decision of Connie Hedegaard, EU Climate Commissionaire, to pause all negotiations for an aviation emissions law.

“The Obama administration is firmly committed to reducing harmful carbon pollution from civil aviation both domestically and internationally, but, as we have said on many occasions, the application of the EU ETS to non-EU air carriers is the wrong way to achieve that objective,” stated Clark Stevens, a White House spokesman.

Clark Stevens declared that the Obama administration is focused on making progress toward a global solution to reduce aviation emissions under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the U.N. body that deals with aviation issues.

Negative Economic Results

Airlines for America, the U.S. airline industry’s main lobbying group, praised President Obama for his decision. The lobbying group also favored working through the ICAO to solve this problem. According to estimates made by Airlines of America, complying with the EU law would have cost U.S. airlines $3.1 billion between now and 2020.

“It never made a bit of sense for European governments to tax our citizens for flying over our own airspace – and with the passage of this law we’ve got the tools we need to prevent it from happening and protect American jobs,” said Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, a co-author of the bill.

TheCompensators* would like to announce their Advent Calendar!

Celebrate the holiday season by welcoming December 24th with TheCompensators*

Our advent calendar will begin on December 1st. Each day, we will present the reader with a small piece of the latest information concerning climate change, facts about environmental degradation, important dates to note and the dangers of CO2 emissions. Also, for each day, leading up to December 24th, we will be deleting CO2 certificates according to the number of the day. For instance, we will be deleting 1 ton of CO2 on the 1st day, 2 tonnes on the 2nd, 3 tonnes on the 3rd and so on respectively. Therefore, we will be deleting a grand total of 300 tonnes!

Join us in our cause and protect the climate with us this Christmas.

Make sure to follow our calendar and open the first door on December 1st!

Don’t forget to compensate for you emissions by clicking here!

California’s New Carbon Market: The Second Largest in the World!

On November 14th, after 6 long years of waiting, the state of California became the first state in the United States to sell emission-trading certificates. On the first day of auction, the carbon market sold a total of 23.1 million certificates for a total of 233 million dollars making it the second largest emission trading system in the world, with the EU ETS on the first place. Given California’s importance as one of the most populated states in the US and making its economy one of the world’s strongest, this is a major breakthrough for climate policy.

Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board, called the first auction a “complete success.” “This is an important milestone of our state,” Chairman Nichols proudly stated.

In this first round of auctions, 350 companies known to be major polluters, such as, cement plants, steel mills, refineries, and electrical manufacturing plants, took part in the auction. In years to come, the emissions market will include other industries.

Description of California’s Cap and Trade Market

Carbon auctions will be held four times per year until 2020, when the system will be re-evaluated. The total amount of certificates will be declining over time to encourage industries to emit less CO2.  The money gained from each auction will go towards state investments with 25% of the money meant to support disadvantaged communities (although the details of such investments are still to be determined). The California Cap and Trade Market will try to prevent the price volatility seen in the EU ETS by establishing a price floor of certificates at $10 per tonne.

TheCompensators* believe that California has made a huge step in favor of progressive climate policy and believe that other states of the US should follow this example. Further, we believe that the EU ETS should learn from its mistakes and imitate ideas from other carbon market systems. We support, for example, the idea of a price floor. This measure would help increase the current price of emission allowances which has stagnated at 6 Euros per tonne.

Compensate for you emissions here!

2012 Offsetting Report by Sandbag


Sandbag, a British not-for-profit environmental campaigning organization, published a new report a few days ago called “Help or Hindrance, Offsetting in the EU ETS.” In this report, Sandbag analyses the impact of offsetting methods, such as, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) projects.

In their previous report published in July, Sandbag noted that
the ETS “drove 2.2 billion tonnes fewer emission reductions than the
policy was expected to deliver when the caps were last set in 2008.”
Based on these results, the recent report questions the use of
offsetting as a tool to combat climate change, due to the
questionable investments, and the use of offsetting overall, given
the stagnant low carbon price.

“Offsetting was supposed to be a price containment measure to ensure
that carbon prices didn’t rise too high. Carbon prices have remained
low due to excess supply in the market,” stated Rob Elsworth, policy
officer at Sandbag. “Offsets are contributing significantly to this
oversupply and are now depressing prices so low that the EU ETS almost
ceases to have a function”, he adds.

An important finding of the study is the 85% increase in offsets being
surrendered into the EU ETS between 2010 and 2011. However, looking closer at these offsets, Sandbag observes that most of these offsets come from industrial gas credits for projects in China. The report shows that in 2011 there was a surge in use of these credits, anticipating the impending EU ban on industrial
gas credits from 2013. To this surge of credits, the report states, “Compliance installations are rushing to surrender cheap international credits while they are still available, so as to free up domestic allowances that can be banked forward indefinitely.”

Restructuring EU ETS
TheCompensators* agree with Sandbag’s position about the necessity of improving the EU ETS for its upcoming Phase III. As stated by Sandbag, some problems that should be assessed are the oversupply of carbon allowances leaving
the price below €8 per tonne and the 1.6 billion tonnes of offsets that
will be allowable for use in Phase II and III of the EU ETS, among others. Furthermore, to improve the quality of offsetting projects, investment
in coal or hydro power related projects should not be allowed, as this would force companies to reduce their emissions instead of strongly relying on offsets.

Sandbag, however, does note that some progress has been made to
improve offsetting. Prior to 2011, offsetting would be practiced in
very few countries such as China and Russia. Yet, for the first time
in 2011 countries such as Costa Rica, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Fiji and
Thailand saw their credits enter the EU ETS. Part of the reason for
this is that, starting in 2013, only projects coming from least
developed countries will count as an offset project. According to
Sandbag, it is anticipated that the majority of these credits will
come from Angola, Bhutan, Cambodia, Uganda and Lao.

TheCompensators* are convinced that working on restructuring of the ETS is a must for the EU and, even if the carbon price is lower that it should be, compensating through the EU ETS is the most powerful mean of compensation. To read more, why compensating with TheCompensators* is different, please read “What makes TheCompensators* special.”

To compensate right now, click here.

Deleting 500 tonnes in support of Progressive Policies

In connection with the upcoming COP18 conference and the holiday
season, TheCompensators* will delete 500 tonnes of CO2 as a political statement for progressive policies. More on our Christmas actions will follow soon!

Doha COP18
Today, delegates from 194 nations, 7,000 representatives of
non-governmental organizations, and more than 1,500 members of the
global and regional media will meet for the 2012 round of the UN
Climate Change Conference, in Doha, Qatar. The 18th session of the
Conference of the Parties (better known as COP18), starts on November
26 and end on December 7. COP18 will discuss on one of the most
critical issues of our time faced by all 7 billion people in the
world: climate change.

Climate change’s impacts are already being felt across the globe
through increasing temperatures, droughts, wildfires and sea level
rise. Further, extreme weather events such as the recent Hurricane
Sandy should serve as a reminder that catastrophes will be seen more
often if action is not taken. At the conference in Doha, officials
will need to resolve the future of the Kyoto Protocol, finalize the
rules of past decisions and come to an international climate
agreement by 2015.

At the UNFCCC conference in Cancun, two years ago, negotiators and
policy makers agreed that the world should limit its global average
temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. Scientists and scholars
however, have recently stated that, the world is currently not on
track with this goal and that we are currently a long way off. The
progress made in Cancun has yet to be seen. The COP18 has a lot of
goals, but due to the lagging performance in recent years, it has low
expectations from the public and media.

TheCompensators* believe that deterring climate change is urgent. We
strongly urge policy makers at the COP18, to finally make a
comprehensive, legally binding climate protection agreement for the
time after 2012 that ensures global warming will stay well below 2
degrees Celsius. Lastly, we have high expectations for the conference
and by deleting 500 tonnes of CO2, we are showing our support for
better policies.

Make sure to compensate your emissions!

Momentary Pause on Aviation Emissions Law

Connie Hedegaard, EU Climate Commissioner stated on a recent press conference that plans have been put on hold to make international airlines pay for their carbon emissions. Plans will be on hold to allow the UN airlines body enough time to devise an alternative global scheme and until the next International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) meeting takes place next autumn 2013.

“In order to create a positive atmosphere, I have just recommended that the EU stops the clock when it comes to enforcement of aviation into the Emissions Trading System (ETS) to and from non-European countries,” stated Hedegaard.  However, Hedegaard emphasized that the suspension would only last one year.

Non Compliant States

Heedegard, as well as other EU countries have mentioned an interest in applying a global ETS system for airlines. For instance, EU states have been preparing to take enforcement measures against non-compliant airlines from China and India to begin surrendering carbon allowances. However, this is rather difficult to achieve especially with countries like the US which in September of 2012 passed a bill exempting US airlines from participating in the EU ETS.

Tim Johnson, director of the Aviation Environment Federation in London stated that it would be tough for the EU to reject a scheme that emerged from the ICAO process. He admitted that emissions reductions would be larger under a weaker global scheme, than in a more stringent Europe-only system.

To find out more, read the full article on Eur Activ.

Click here to compensate for your airline emissions!

Carbon Market Reform Package

On November 15, the EU proposed various measures to adjust an oversupply of up to 2 billion emission allowances that are unlikely to decline before 2020. Climate Commissionaire, Connie Hedegaard argued that although there have been emission reductions in Europe since the creation of the ETS, an oversupply of allowances and a low price in carbon credits has negatively affected investments in energy efficiency and green technology. “We must not flood a market that is already oversupplied,” Hedegaard said.

Backload of Allowances

A ‘backload’ or delay in the auctioning of 900 million carbon allowances in Phase III of the ETS, which begins next year, for example, is also a measure that will be used to combat an oversupply of allowances. The 900 million figure was the middle option of the EU’s three suggested figures of 400 million, 900 million and 1.2 billion allowances.

Since the backload proposal was announced, carbon prices rose slightly to over €9 in anticipation of the move. This is an improvement on recent price lows of around €6 a tonne, although the price is still well below the €30 a which was predicted four years ago. Instead of canceling 900 million allowances, the EU plans to auction the backloaded allowances in the last two years of the 2013-2020 trading period. Market analyst believe that if the 900 million allowances were canceled, the price for emission credits would rise to €15 a tonne by 2020.


Other potential remedies proposed were:

  • Increasing the EU emission reduction target to 30% in 2020;
  • Permanently cancelling a number of allowances in Phase III (as of 2013);
  • Increasing the 1.74% annual decline in the cap on allowances that can be allocated to member states up to and beyond 2020;
  • Extending the scope of the Emissions Trading System, or ETS, to other sectors;
  • Limiting the use of international credits in the ETS;
  • Introducing discretionary price management mechanisms, such as a carbon price floor or reserve price.

TheCompensators* believe that the EU should permanently cancel more than 900 million carbon allowances. Several studies have suggested that if the goal is to make renewable energy competitive and replace fossil fuels, the price of carbon allowances must be 50€. For this to occur, tougher remedies must be put in place.

To compensate for your emissions, click here!

Welcome Carbon Market Watch!

TheCompensators*, would like to welcome Carbon Market Watch as a new NGO working to improve carbon markets! We are particularly enthusiastic for the future possibility to work along with yet another forward-thinking organization.

Carbon Market Watch will monitor the ETS, as well as, other carbon markets around the world. Due to the rapid growth of carbon market initiatives in other countries, Carbon Market Watch was developed to oversee the effectiveness of these new markets and the successes of their policies, as well as, advocate for fair and effective climate protection.

On the day of the organization’s foundation, Director Eva Filzmoser stated, “New Carbon Initiatives are planned and being implemented around the world. They all need Watching.”

New Beginnings
Carbon Market Watch is simply the new name of the previous organization named CDM Watch, an organization set up in 2009 to provide an independent perspective on individual CDM projects and to critically assess the politically decision-making process affecting wider carbon market developments. CDM Watch made a fantastic job by successfully advocating stronger civil participation, policy changes and uncovered unprecedented scandals in the CDM.
Carbon Market Watch will continue covering Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) activities; however, it has expanded its line of work now covering new market mechanisms, the EU-ETS, Joint Implementation (JI), emission trading and mechanisms to reduce emissions from degradation and deforestation (REDD).

Visit the new Carbon Market Watch webpage!

Don’t forget to compensate for you emissions here!

Introducing our First Intern

Abraham Menaldo our first intern!

For the first time since the founding of TheCompensators*, we have an intern! We are very pleased to have someone so motivated and supportive and for us to provide a comprehensive insight into the world of compensation and emission trading.

Abraham Menaldo, a recent graduate from Austin College, has interned with TheCompensators* since October and will continue working together with us until next year and support our goals of compensation and a better emissions trading scheme.

After his college graduation in May, Abraham was selected as one of 75 participants for the 2012-2013 Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX). The fellowship supported by the American Congress and the German Bundestag includes a year-long experience of training, study, and an internship in Germany. For his internship, Abraham decided to join TheCompensators*.

With a double major in Economics and German and a minor in Environmental Studies, as well as, previous experience interning with the Economic Commission for Latin America, where his tasks included informing policy makers and other citizens about environmental issues and researching on how trade and tourism could be affected by climate change, interning with TheCompensators* was, “a perfect fit” for him.

Through TheCompensators*, according to Abraham, he was able to find the perfect organization to fit all of his interests. As soon as he learned of our organization, he knew he had to apply for the position. “Working here has helped me put into practice what I learned in college and further, it has put my German proficiency to the test.” Being part of TheCompensators*, he states, has given me the great opportunity to be part of an organization that directly fights to improve climate policies in Europe.

“I have had a great experience so far, it is definitely a unique organization to work for” Abraham remarks. “One day I might help plan one of our campaigns, the next day, I might read the most recent report that talks about changes in environmental policy in Europe, and then another day, I test my creativity by decorating gift boxes to sell at our stand for a Christmas Market. Everyday there is definitely something motivating to do.

Want to know, who else is working for TheCompensators*? Click here to find out!

Abraham Menaldo our first intern!
For the first time since the founding of TheCompensators*, we have an intern! We are very pleased to have someone so motivated and supportive and for us to provide a comprehensive insight into the world of compensation and emission trading.Abraham Menaldo, a recent graduate from Austin College, has interned with TheCompensators* since October and will continue working together with us until next year and support our goals of compensation and a better emissions trading scheme.After his college graduation in May, Abraham was selected as one of 75 participants for the 2012-2013 Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX). The fellowship supported by the American Congress and the German Bundestag includes a year-long experience of training, study, and an internship in Germany. For his internship, Abraham decided to join TheCompensators*.

With a double major in Economics and German and a minor in Environmental Studies, as well as, previous experience interning with the Economic Commission for Latin America, where his tasks included informing policy makers and other citizens about environmental issues and researching on how trade and tourism could be affected by climate change, interning with TheCompensators* was, “a perfect fit” for him.

Through TheCompensators*, according to Abraham, he was able to find the perfect organization to fit all of his interests. As soon as he learned of our organization, he knew he had to apply for the position. “Working here has helped me put into practice what I learned in college and further, it has put my German proficiency to the test.” Being part of TheCompensators*, he states, has given me the great opportunity to be part of an organization that directly fights to improve climate policies in Europe.

“I have had a great experience so far, it is definitely a unique organization to work for” Abraham remarks. “One day I might help plan one of our campaigns, the next day, I might read the most recent report that talks about changes in environmental policy in Europe, and then another day, I test my creativity by decorating gift boxes to sell at our stand for a Christmas Market. Everyday there is definitely something motivating to do.

Want to know, who else is working for TheCompensators*? Click here to find out!Abraham Menaldo our first intern!

TheCompensators*: Breaking the Walls of Climate Change

Berlin, Germany,
On November 6th, Florian, member of TheCompensators*, held a presentation named Breaking the Walls of Industrial Pollution for the prestigious Falling Walls Lab. Florian talked about the TheCompensators* grassroots approach of using the ETS to pursue a breakthrough in climate policy.

The Falling Walls Lab offers the opportunity for academics and professionals to present their outstanding ideas, research projects and initiatives in 3 a minute presentation.

Key statements from the TheCompensators* presentation:

  • “In only two years the surplus of emission certificates has increased fourfold which has halved the price of emission rights to 7€ per ton”. The current price is not enough to increase investment in clean technologies and therefore, will not help enough the European Union reach the target of reducing Greenhouse gas emissions of 80% by 2050.
  • However, TheCompensators* offers a platform to help modify this system. By buying these emissions through TheCompensators*, emission allowances are deleted and are never to be used. Thanks to TheCompensators* not only firms or politicians are able to change the current climate policy, but also the common citizen.

Be and active citizen and help modify the current climate policy by compensating emissions and click here!

Compensate this upcoming Holiday Season!

The long awaited holiday season is finally coming in a few weeks!

This season is the perfect time to reunite with family and friends. It gives us the opportunity to gather with those we love and those whom we care for. Some of us might even buy presents to show how much others mean to us. If this season, you buy the gifts for your loved ones online, you can also do something for the climate because, TheCompensators* are member of PlanetHelp.

TheCompensators* is a member of PlanetHelp. Through PlanetHelp You too can make a contribution to our work while shopping on the internet – without paying more.

Why choose TheCompensators*?

A common belief is that online shopping is good for the environment, however, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) issued a report in 2010 stating the ‘rebound’ effects of activities that are commonly thought to be green. The report highlights that buying goods online can provide carbon savings; however this is easier said than done. The study found that environmental savings can be achieved if online shopping replaces 3.5 traditional shopping trips, or if 25 orders are delivered at the same time, or, if the distance traveled to where the traditional purchase is made is more than 50km.

Shop online and support TheCompensators*

If you are buying online this holiday season, make sure you compensate for these harmful emissions.

How can you help TheCompensators*?

It is very simple!

1) Click here to see all the shops that support PlanetHelp.

2) Find your favorite shop

3) Choose TheCompensators*

4) Buy presents for your loved ones!

Planet Help facilitates financial support to aid organizations through online shopping. If one buys from one of the partner shops of PlanetHelp, the shop provider pays PlanetHelp advertising and commission fees. The costumer is able to buy online, make a good deed and support aid organization without any extra cost!

You can also directly compensate your emissions by clicking here!

Changes to the ETS

In 2013, the 3rd phase of the EU Emission Trading system (EU ETS) will start, and thus bringing a number of significant changes. Phase three lasts from 2013 to 2020.

  • Auctioning of EUAs becomes the rule instead of the exception.
  • Today, at most 10% of EUAs can be auctioned
  • No free allocation of EUAs to electricity production (for some Member States gradual transition until 2020 to allow for modernization of the electricity sector: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Romania)
  • Non electricity sectors: rule harmonization among EU member states and ex-ante benchmarks for free allocation to incentivize CO2 reduction efforts
  • Free allocation will be reduced from 80% of eligible emissions in 2013 and to 30% in 2020, reaching 0% by 2027
  • A new entrants reserve of 5% of phase 3 EUAs will be used to facilitate incorporation of additional polluters entering the system (e.g. as aviation since January 2012)
  • From 2013 on, certain projects will not be eligible anymore for including credits into the ETS. These projects include CDM projects outside the least developed countries and projects that aim at reducing the emission of highly harmful greenhouse gases such as HFC-23 and N2O. Until now, both types of projects offer an easy opportunity for acquiring CERs (Certified Emission Reductions) and ERUs (Emission Reduction Units) in return for emission reductions that are disproportionately cheap to have.

But although the new regulation is a good move its implementation is not happening fast enough. It is expected that large amounts of emission allowances will enter the market before the new rule becomes effective in April 2013

  • Technical changes, e.g. administration on European level and to avoid VAT tax fraud. Germany, the UK and Poland have opted not to participate in the common auctioning platform but to implement their respective country platforms (which will be compatible with common platform)

Criticism of TheCompensators*

  • An amount of 300 million EUAs form the new entrants reserve is made available to the market in the beginning of phase 3. The revenue from these allocation will be used to finance Carbon Capture and Storage technologies (CCS)
  • Yet, the positive impact of this step is uncertain. It is debatable whether CCS will make a major contribution to decarbonization in Europe, e.g. due to public resistance, as claimed in a recent report of the DIW
  • Finally, by issuing 300 million allowances at once will lower the EUA prices. Eventually, cheap certificates also present a negative economic incentive to invest in and build CCS.

If you want to help decrease emissions, compensate your emissions with TheCompensators*

Problems of the ETS: The Other Euro-Crisis

“The other Euro crisis” – that is how the European Energy Review calls what is happening to the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). In an article on the new measures proposed by the European Commission, author Sonja van Renssen explains why the current crisis puts at risk the whole EU climate policy.

The European Commission states that there are two main problems: a surplus of approximately one billion extra emissions allowances in the carbon market, as well as, a stubborn low price of these carbon permits.

The Commission has developed two different measures to solve these problems. The first is to delay the sale of extra carbon allowances into the market. The second measure is to implement structural reforms to the ETS.

Some member states and energy-intensive industries are discontent with the Commission’s power to sell allowances at will, while other industries are worried that those delayed allowances may never make it into the market.

Entire Climate and Energy Policy at Risk

The purpose of the EU ETS, as the European Energy Review correctly states, is that the ETS, “is intended to form the backbone of the EU’s entire climate policy.” If the current issues of the ETS are not resolved the European Union’s entire climate and energy policy will be at risk. The Commission has not yet specified the amount of allowances that will be delayed or the reforms that will be made.

The Compensators* support the proposal of deleting the extra allowances that are currently part of the system. Delaying the sale of allowances only to reintroduce them later will not help decrease emissions or increase investment in low-carbon technology.

The reason for the current low price of the carbon permits is the over supply of allowances. With less permits in the market, prices of emissions will rise and consequently firms will have to decrease their emissions in the long run.

If you want to decrease the number of permits right away, compensate your emissions with TheCompensators*!

Evaluation of the Second Phase of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme 2008-2011

Facts on ETS performance 2008-2011 (phase 2) as outlined in a communication on the ETS

  • Daily trading volume rose to an average of 23 million EUAs in 2011
  • Over the counter trading, i.e. EUA trading without the use of a regulated market place, has significantly decreased
  • From 2008 to 2011, almost 8200 million EUAs were issued, almost 97% of those for free, the rest (283 million) auctioned
  • Significant volumes from international credits (CERs from CDM projects and ERUs from JI projects) have entered the ETS (CDM projects allow for transfer of carbon emission reduction recognition from non-Annex B to Annex B countries while JI refers to the same mechanism between two Annex B countries). In total, 450 million CERs and 98 million ERUs, i.e. pollution rights for almost 550 million tonnes of CO2.
  • With 1886 million tonnes of verified emissions, 2011 was approx. 10% below the 2008 value of 2100 million tonnes. This reduction was driven by the economic downturn in 2009, when verified emissions amounted to 1860 million tonnes.
  • Comparing the 2008-2011 totals, 8720 emission allowances were issued thereof approx. 550 million tonnes from CDM and JI projects. In the same period, 7765 emissions were verified, using up pollution rights
  • Thus, between 2008 and 2011 a surplus of almost 1000 million tonnes of emission allowances was created, thereof more than half by international projects
  • It is therefore not surprising that the prices of emission allowances is currently the lowest since phase 2 has started
  • It comes even worse: the surplus of emission allowances is expected to rise above 2000 million tonnes by 2013. This is due e.g. to large amounts of international credits entering the market until April 2013 and due to the auctioning of 300 million allowances for the support of Carbon Capture and Storage
  • This surplus will not be completely reduced until long into the 2020s according to the EU Commission

Criticism by TheCompensators*

  • The excessive use of international credits has blown up the surplus of emission allowances to levels that contradict the very purpose of the ETS. Therefore, TheCompensators* emphasize that compensation through the deletion of ETS emission allowances is much more effective to reduce European CO2 emissions than donating for CDM projects. You can donate now here.
  • The 2009 economic downturn and the success of renewable energies have reduced emission compared to 2008 levels. Since no measures are in place to adapt the cap of emission issued, this also leads to oversupply. Policies need to be adopted to prevent this effect.
  • After all, emissions stay in the atmosphere for approx. 1000 years, which is basically forever from a human perspective. Thus, every bit that we can reduce emission faster limits cumulative greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. From a climate point of view, it makes no sense to keep stocks of emission allowances to delay the transition to a low carbon economy

New Partner for Climate-neutral Events

TheCompensators* have got a new partner to make your event become climate-neutral! The Expertes at ThINK – the Thuringia Institute for Sustainability and Climate protection – will help you calculate your emissions.

Compensate these emissions through TheCompensators* and ThINK will issue the certificate “Climate-neutral Event”.

Read more how to compensate an event

EU Commission: Oversupply of allowances in the European Emission Trading Scheme

In a recent communication on the ETS, the EU Commission acknowledges that unforeseen developments lead to unfavourable consequences for the European cap and trade system for CO2.

The EU Commission proposes an approach of delaying the issuance of phase emission allowances without changing the absolute amount of emissions issued during phase 3. The effects of this approach are analyzed under a strong, a medium and a weak change of the auctioning profile. While this method is believed to be able to stabilize EUA prices during the first years of phase 3, this effect will vanish when the delayed issuance takes place.

In a recent press release on the ETS (in German), the German development bank KfW highlights that the delay of certificate issuance will not be able to solve the problem of oversupplies. Instead, an real and lasting reduction of emission allowances is necessary.

Until politics arrive there, you can contribute by donating here. TheCompensators* will use your donation to delete emission certificates and thereby contribute to the functioning of the ETS in a grass roots way.

CO2 Barometer shows that emissions trading is in deep crisis

According to the most recent CO2 Barometer published by the Reconstruction Credit Institute and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), EU emissions is failing to achieve the goals for which it was intended (click here for the press release; in German). The reports highlights three important issues:

  • The EU Emissions Trading Scheme sets very low incentives to avoid CO2 emissions.
  • The costs of emissions trading thus far has had very little effect on companies’ site selection.
  • The options of tightening the rules within the Trading Scheme should be explored.

TheCompensators* support the CO2 Barometer findings and are convinced that more needs to be done to adapt and improve the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. If you would like to compensate for your own emissions, please click here to find out how you can do that with TheCompensators*.

Compensate now more than 40% more emissions with the same amount

It is now cheaper to compensate your emissions! The price for pollution rights has decreased a lot in the last months. That is actually bad news – as it should be as expensive as possible to emit climate-damaging greenhouse gases.

However, there is an advantage for us and for you: We are now able to buy a lot more emissions rights with the same amount of money and delete them forever.

The new price to compensate through TheCompensators* is 6,75 euros for one tonne of CO2. That means that you are able to retire from the market more than 40% more emissions allowances with the same amount of money than you could before..

Learn more how we calculate the price for compensating your emissions with TheCompensators*. Or learn which changes are urgently needed to improve emissions trading to make it more efficient in fighting climate change.

Or compensate your emissions right now!

Germany produces more than 25% of electricity from renewables

Germany generates more than 25% of its electricity from renewable sources.

This is great news and makes it clear that we need a coupling of the CO2 emissions cap and the diffusion of renewables: the more energy is produced from renewable resources, the less pollution rights must be available. Otherwise, more emissions certificates will be available for dirty coal plants!

To reduce the number of pollution rights right now, compensate your emissions and help to lower the overall CO2 emissions cap!

EU Considers Set-Aside for Pollution Rights

The European Commission considers to set aside a number of pollution rights in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard suggests a review of the auction time profile of the ETS. The set-aside should limit the over-supply of the scheme with emissions certificates which leads to falling prices for polluting.

TheCompensators* consider the Commission proposal a first step in the right direction. It is urgently necessary to limit the number of available polluting rights in order to prevent emissions prices to drop further.

However a temporary set-aside in our opinion is not the most adequate solution to the problems inherent to the ETS. Instead, a permanent set-aside is needed to permanently lower the cap for European emissions.

In the meantime, everybody can contribute to lower the real EU cap with TheCompensators*: Compensate* your emissions and reduce the number of emissions allowances available to European industry!

TheCompensators* want you!

TheCompensators* are looking for dedicated volunteers who enjoy getting involved in order to

  • work on the content and development of our website
  • act as communicators who spread the word about TheCompensators*
  • shape the future of TheCompensators* and of European climate policy

Read more…

The European Energy Review reports on emissions trading

The European Energy Review has published an interesting article on the European Carbon Emissions Trading Scheme ETS. It points out that while virtually all stakeholders agree that the ETS needs a fix, there are many different perspectives on what that fix should be.

TheCompensators*think that an immediate set-aside of carbon emission allowances is necessary to take overallocation out of the market. This would then give the time to design a longterm mechanism which relates the number of allowances to the success of e.g. renewable energy policies. This mechanism should then automatically and predictably reduce emission allowances in the market depending on renewable energy technologies installed as well as other factors.

Thus, it would then be guaranteed that installing solar panels or wind turbines will reduce carbon emissions and rather than providing free emission allowances for dirty technologies such as lignite and coal.

As always, let us remind you that you can already help reduce emissions in the market by buying and deleting EUAs with TheCompensators*.

“Spiegel” editor Alexander Neubacher: Why we all should copensate

Sorry, but this text exists only in German. Please click here to read it.