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Archive for news
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?
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!
TheCompensators* have deleted pollution rights for 2960 tonnes of CO2. Please find enclosed our newest account statement.
Altogether, we have removed 15,267 emissions certificates from the market so far!!
Using the economic concept of demand and supply for CO2-emissions is genious. Nevertheless, the European Emissions Trading Scheme does not provide sufficient incentives for market participants to invest in low carbon options rather than buying cheap emission certificates. The EU ETS desperately needs to be reformed! On the occasion of its 10th birthday we look back on the different periods, solutions already in place and ideas worth to discuss.
Read about the ICCG’s view of the market stability reserve and the institute’s interesting thoughts about the ideas of one global ETS. Also, the consultancy Ecofys proposes a new approach of how allowances could be allocated, called “Dynamic Allocation”. And Carlo Carraro, Director of the Climate Impacts and Policy Division of the Euro-Mediterranean Center for Climate Change (CMCC), has written a brief history of the ETS. Enjoy!
Whatever the future of the EU ETS may be – TheCompensators* already provide the possibility to contribute to a better EU ETS: Compensate now!
The draft reform encompasses implementing a regulation mechanism, called market stability reserve (MSR), within the emissions trading scheme in January 2019. Experts anticipate that this step will improve the EU ETS – a development that is urgently needed due to the ambitious climate targets of the EU until 2020.
Time and backloading
The market stability reserve is a mechanism to regulate demand and supply of EU allowances. Whenever there is a surplus of emissions certificates, less new allowances will be given out. Once the price increases significantly, new certificates would be released.
„The MSR deal is a historic first in that it sees MEPs and Member States agree to make a Commission proposal more ambitious (usually MEPs fight to beef it up and Member States succeed in watering it down)“, says Energypost.eu. Although: “MEPs and the Latvian Presidency also agreed that so-called “solidarity allowances”, amounting to 10% of the annual total and allocated to certain EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe, would be exempt from the reserve until 2025″, says a EU press release from May 6th.
The MSR also affects the so-called „backloading“. In 2014 the commission had taken 900 million certificates off the market in order to stabilize it. These certificates have not lost their price, though. They were stalled and are supposed to re-enter the market in 2019-20. Now they will be directly transfered into the MSR.
Environmentalists want more, industry wants less
Sandbag stated in a press release that the draft was a step in the right direction, but requested more: “Sandbag calls on Member States to cancel a significant volume of allowances as part of the post 2020 package to be discussed during the rest of 2015.“
Eurofer, the European Steel Association, statet in a press release, it was „seriously concerned over earlier introduction of Market Stability Reserve in 2019“ because of the anticipated increasing price of EUAs: „This will cause EU steelmakers to face even tougher times with regards to their international competitors which do not face similar CO2 costs.“
Eurofer refers to the phenomenon of „carbon leakage“ which has to be largely discussed at the COP21, the climate negotiation which is taking place in Paris in December 2015. Carbon leakage describes the result of companies outsourcing their power plants to countries with low ecological standards compared to stricter political climate conditions in their own countries.
That is why we need to push emission trading schemes further ahead. Some systems work, as is shown by the Canadian-Californian trading scheme that recently even included the transport sector. As long as these options are merely the subjects of discussions, the market stability reserve might at least be a step on the long way for the EU to improve the system by regulatory measures.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in March 2015 global carbon dioxide concentrations surpassed 400 ppm (parts per million) for the first time since the starting of measuring such trends in 1880.
Keep in mind: The consequences of CO2 emissions are being discussed politically since the early 1990s. Yet in this time global CO2 emissions have increased by 60%. We are putting our planet at stake. What can we do? Compensate!
Read this article by NOAA for more information about this trend that soon we won’t be able to turn around anymore.
According to a recent study ordered by the Federal Environmental Agency CO2-emissions in Germany have decreased by 4.3 percent in 2014 compared to 2013. That makes a total of 41 million tons of CO2. More importantly: In 2014 CO2 emissions by households, transports and industry added up to 912 million tons of CO2 – a reduction of 27 percent compared to 1990 and the first decline since 2010. Until 2020 Germany has set the target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent compared to 1990.
The decline however is not due to revolutionary savings by enforcing renewable energies, less coal-based electricity or even a higher price for CO2-emission certificates. No, this decline has been caused by something more trivial. Environment minister Barbara Hendricks has put it like this: “The trend finally goes in the right direction. The majority of the reduction is due to the mild winter in 2014. But a part of the reduction is thanks to real process in climate protection.” So really it sounds like this: The last German winter just was not cold enough. People simply didn’t heat as much as usual. Not only the cynic may now say: Warm winters show the reality of climate change.
Nevertheless, a reduction of CO2-emissions is always good news. So let’s not sit back and take things easy but continue compensating. German economics minister Sigmar Gabriel finally got it and proposes eliminating CO2-emissions certificates. TheCompensators* approve – obviously! That’s how energy transition works!
For more information check out the Federal Environment Agency’s official statement (in German).
Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.
In January 2014 California and Québec linked their carbon markets. In February 2015 all of the 73,610,528 emission certificates were auctioned, generating a revenue of $ 1,02 billion dollars which will be invested in clean energy or emission reductions. Now that’s an example for a functioning cap-and-trade-system – one that our EU ETS should not only be looking up to, but imitate.
Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.
Can the ETS be repaired? Yesterday the Environment Committee raised hopes by backing a draft law containing the market stability reserve, a mechanism to regulate the current surplus of EU Allowances on the market. The MEPs also proposed preventing the automatic return to the market, from 2019, of a portion of allowances “back loaded” last year in a separate vote.
2015 is a year of important decisions and it will affect all of us: At the climate conference in Paris, all big industrial countries must finally commit to binding climate targets. Also, it has been ten years since the Kyoto Protocol came into force. German broadcaster ARD has thought of a little quiz – how well do you know the agreement?
Let’s not forget about another anniversary: Ten years ago the first trading period of the ETS started with 22 € per certificate (or: per tonne of CO2) – an amazing price compared to the current price-level (6-8 €). The EU commission realised too late that the amount of certificates on the market was too high. During the economic crisis the market was flooded by even more certificates and today there is a huge surplus.
Next week the European Parliament’s Committee for Environment discusses the so-called market stability reserve. Will they agree upon a reform of the ETS? Can an altered regulation mechanism repair the broken system of demand and supply?
TheCompensators* offer you the possibility to compensate CO2 beyond the institutional area. Check out how to compensate! We delete CO2 for good.
An important reform of the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) might happen a lot faster than planned so far. On Tuesday, the European Parliament’s Committee for Industry rejected a vote for a reform in 2021. Now it is up to the EP’s Environment Committee to define a position for the Parliament – and it is probable that it will suggest to the plenary to implement a reform as of 2017, i.e. in two years’ time.
The reform suggested by the European Commission aims at increasing the price of pollution. Whenever there is a surplus of emissions certificates, less new allowances will be given out. Once the price increases significantly, new certificates would be released.
For more details, please an article in European Voice.
Bloomberg’s science writers Tom Randall and Blacki Migliozzi challenge all people who still deny that climate change exists. An animation created with data from the National Climatic Data Center shows in a simple but impressive way: 2014 was the hottest year since 1880.
The climate graph “shows the Earth’s warming climate, recorded in monthly measurements from land and sea over 135 years”, the page explains, “Temperatures are displayed in degrees above or below the 20th-century average. Thirteen of the 14 hottest years are in the 21st century.”
Randall pretty much summed up the main problem of these results last summer: “But the truly disturbing part isn’t that we’ve hit a new record. It’s that we live in a season of new records. This may be the the new warm normal. To find previous hottest Mays, you don’t have to search far; four of the five hottest Mays on record have occurred since 2010. More difficult is finding a cool May. The last time the month fell below its 20th-century average was 39 years ago.”
Playing this down is no longer an option. But neither is giving up. We must act now! We fight against climate change by buying emission certificates off the market. Help TheCompensators*! Contribute to cooling down our planet!
Already for the second time, the German company Schleicher Blechbearbeitung GmbH gives something very efficient to their customers for Christmas: deleted emissions certificates!
For company owner Axel Schleicher, buying emissions certificates off the market is the best way to contribute individually to the fight against climate change. In a letter to his customers he addresses the issue: “How much CO2 can you avoid by using energy saving lamps or installing a photovoltaic system on your roof? Unfortunately: None at all.”
This sad fact is inherent to the emissions trading scheme, he explains: the number of granted certificates exceeds the amount of actual CO2 emissions. “The amount of CO2 that you ‘save’ is not gone, your power plant operator just does not need anymore the corresponding rights to pollute and thus will sell it to somebody else who will use it eventually. TheCompensators, a non profit organisation from Berlin, instead buy and delete certificates. This amount of CO2 cannot be emitted anymore.”
TheCompensators* could not explain it in a better way! We are very happy about the generous donation and are also delighted to announce a new member – as of now the Schleicher Blechbearbeitung GmbH supports us beyond Christmas. Because it’s always CO2 compensation season.
Two weeks ago German newspaper ZEIT expressed suspicions that the German economics minister Sigmar Gabriel might be about to bury Germany’s climate targets. Only recently, he had spoken out against “de-carbonating” due to the incompatibility with denuclearization, higher electric bills, workplaces and the subsequent need to import energy. Then SPIEGEL and Reuters informed their readers that Gabriel was in fact planning the exact opposite, i.e. that he wanted to force electricity suppliers to reduce the emissions of their coal-fired power stations. He had indeed met with company representatives and now it’s official: On Wednesday Gabriel and the German environment minister Barbara Hendricks presented a brand new climate protection package, containing a program of action, and a so called “climate-efficiency-plan” – which contains guidelines for various industries to achieve CO2-reductions. How did all of this happen so fast?
Well, according to SPIEGEL the government fears it won’t be able to fulfill its climate targets of reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2020. Thus polluters must obey new binding rules.
The “Nationaler Aktionsplan Energieeffizienz“ (national action plan for energy efficiency) wants to establish three major measures (the original report in German can be found here):
1. Introducing new competitive announcements to push energy efficiency on the market.
2. Increasing subsidies for building renovation and providing tax incentives for measures designed to increase energy efficiency in buildings. As these incentives are to be provided by both the government and the federal states this step still needs to be discussed.
3. Creating networks between government, industry and commerce for energy efficiency.
Hendricks is positive concerning this new package. It would help reduce CO2-emissions by up to 78 million tons by 2020. That is more than twice the amount that can be achieved by current measures. This number is based on the estimated CO2 savings in several industries: 30 million tons of CO2 through energy efficiency in the building sector, ten million in transport, 3.6 million in agriculture and three million by planned waste management (recycling, avoidance of waste, resource efficiency). The earlier mentioned “capping” of emissions of coal-fired power stations ought to prevent 22 million tons of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere – however, the energy providers will obtain the right to choose how they will achieve this reduction.
Apart from the last point, the efficiency plan focuses on endorsing energy efficient measures rather than genuinely decreasing GHG-emissions where it really hurts. Still, Greenpeace Germany is quite happy with the announced goals, according to a notification on their website. But the NGO criticizes that none of the announced measures are concrete –the steps must still be put into practice and it is well known how long such processes can take.
TheCompensators* are already busily compensating CO2,whilst enabling you to do this as well. We can even help you find the perfect Christmas present: Take a look at our beautifully designed gift certificates – maybe this is the perfect gift for your beloved? And in case you’re not all about festive emotions, CO2-certificates are always a must-(not)-have! Help us to delete them!
Driving ban and decreased activities of power stations – the air in? Beijing needed to be as clear as possible for the APEC summit last week. Here, US president Obama and Chinese president Xi Jinping agreed on climate targets. In 2030 China wants to begin reducing its greenhouse gas emissions for the first time and increase the share of renewable energy from currently 10 to 20 percent. As for the US, Obama aims for a reduction of pollution emissions of 26 to 28 percent until 2025. Up to now the target was a reduction of only 17 percent until 2020.
One could celebrate that fact that China and the US, being the two worst polluters of the whole planet, finally did more than just promise to participate in the fight against climate change. But their plans still have large gaps:
– As China wants to start reducing its CO2-emissions only in 2030, all the other nations will have to compensate for that in order to achieve the two degree target.
– China considers nuclear energy as “clean energy”, for technically it does not pollute the air and thus not the atmosphere during the process of energy generation. However, how to dispose of the atomic waste on a long term basis is the problem of future generations.
– The USA now aim for a higher goal than before but have granted themselves more time. Also, the year they base their percentages on is 2005 and not 1990, like it is the case for the EU. In 2005 the CO2 concentration level in the atmosphere had become much higher compared to 1990, which makes achieving the goal relatively easier.
– Whilst Obama seems to want to establish real climate targets, these goals are not shared by his competitors at home. The Republican Party dominates not only the Senate, but since the elections last week also the Congress. Measures that might inhibit economic growth will not gain their majority.
In spite of all these objections, it is of course a good sign that China has acknowledged the fact that it must play a role in the fight against climate change, especially when it comes to the approaching UN climate summit next year in Paris when binding targets are supposed to be set.
The goal of a CO2-reduction of 35 % of the level of 1990 until 2020 is easily achieved. On Thursday the EU member states discussed this problem in Brussels and agreed on three new targets against climate change until 2030. These targets can be modified when being discussed again at the UN summit in Paris next year, but must not be softened.
1. The EU must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% of the level measured in 1990. Emissions concerning private households, transport and agriculture must be reduced by 30%.
2. Energy efficiency or rather energy savings must rise up to 27% – which is not a binding requirement.
3. The share of renewable energies must rise up to 27%. For Germany that means „at least“, Angela Merkel said in Brussels.
Germany had wished for a higher percentage but diplomacy requires compromise, the German chancellor added. As Germany’s national targets are more strict, the other targets are feasible as well, she told the press. Claude Turmes from the Green party in the EU parliament expressed his disappointment in Angela Merkel, saying she no longer seems to be an active “climate chancellor” but rather a retired one.
Environmental organizations, too, criticized the EU for the results of the summit. Also, the summit failed to deliver a real reform of the ETS, although there are plenty of possibilities to improve the EU ETS. TheCompensators* demand that the improvement of the ETS is put on the agenda. We keep working for a more efficient emissions trading system. You can help us here.
It’s not a secret that there are too many emission allowances in the EU emissions trading system. Just how many there are shows a recently published report by Sandbag. It analyzes the surplus of emission allowances built up in the EU emissions trading system. The report estimates the excess of emission allowances could reach as high as 4.5 billion by 2020, and that the planned backloading – postponing emission allowances until 2019 and 2020 – will not help enough to reduce it.
“We’ve been saying for years: ‘Fix the emissions trading scheme’,” Sandbag director Bryony Worthington told the news website Responding to Climate Change. “But sadly the incentives for investment in green growth are still not there. It has now got to the stage where the ETS is so broken we are recommending ditching it unless problems are sorted out with new laws within the next 12 months.”
The report gives three recommendations how to fix the ETS:
- Improving the orderly functioning of the market through a market stability reserve (a mechanism regulating surplus and deficit of emission allowances) as soon as possible,
- Protecting the competitiveness of European industry through improvements of the free allocation rules,
- Increasing EU climate ambition by canceling allowances and re-calculating the post-2020 trajectory.
You can find the full report here.
Compared to the surplus, what TheCompensators* are doing might seem like a drop in the bucket. However, we are still fighting to improve the EU ETS! You can help us by donating here.
On October 9th, chancellor Angela Merkel and the recently elected Prime Minister of Poland, Ewa Kopacz, met in Berlin for the first time to discuss issues concerning the German-Polish relationship an the EU. As anticipated, the meeting showed that it will not be easy to find an agreement on EU climate policy. Before her visit and with regard to the upcoming summit of the Council of Europe, where climate protection targets until 2030 are supposed to be decided, Ewa Kopacz had announced her use of Poland’s right of veto if these targets would bring about higher electricity bills for the Polish population. During the press conference in Berlin she explained that reducing greenhouse gas emissions to a level of 2008 would be equal to a reduction of 1,74% per year, which would be hard to achieve. Angela Merkel found that to be “an important statement regarding the Polish population” and stressed that the price for CO2-emissions ranks very low currently. In fact, in 2008 assumptions calculated on 20 Euro per certificate, while today the price fluctuates between 3 and 5 Euro. If Angela Merkel is convinced that cheap certificates are an acceptable method to compensate (pun intended) a higher price of electricity, she completely misses the point of the concept. Certificates allowing to exceed the limit set for pollution must be expensive, not cheap. Accepting low priced certificates also shows an acceptance of this weak spot in the emissions trading system. Interesting remains to see if this argument will be used in Brussels as well or which solution to fix the weaknesses of the ETS will be agreed upon.
TheCompensators* participate in eliminating this weak spot by buying certificates off the market and deleting them, forcing up prices for emission certificates. For this we need your help.
A recent study confirms TheCompensators* criticism of the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). For a whole host of large industrial enterprises, which count among the largest polluters in Germany, emissions trading serves as a lucrative source of income instead of obliging them to protect our climate.
In a study entitled “Carbon Fatcats” (English version, you will find a more up to date German version here), our British partner organisation Sandbag, the German environmental organisation BUND and Germanwatch proves that considerably too many emissions certificates are distributed to large enterprises – for free. Companies such as Arcelor, Mittal, ThyssenKrupp, Salzgitter and BASF have particularly benefitted from this situation. According to the study, they received a surplus of than 60 million tonnes of CO2 for their sites in Germany alone. This amounts to a value of currently around € 782 million – and allows these companies to make large additional gains by selling those emissions rights.
The study shows that the emissions trading scheme, which in itself is a very useful tool to reduce emissions, needs to be improved urgently. Otherwise the goals set for the system for climate protection will never be reached!
Politicians – i.e. the European Commission and its member states – therefore must act! The number of allocated emissions certificates must be reduced significantly so that emissions will really start drop. Furthermore, certificates must not be handed out for free – companies must pay for the right to pollute.
And what is more, every individual can play an active role and compensate her/his emissions! Buying and deleting emissions certificates via TheCompensators* reduces the number of pollution rights which are available to companies. At the same time every deleted certificate is a political voice for a better emissions trading scheme.
With a bit of assistance from the Heavens, 350 tonnes of CO2 were destroyed with a bang in front of one of Berlin’s most famous landmarks – the Brandenburg Gate. In a symbolic act, an angel burst a balloon filled with emission permits at the Pariser Platz.
Curious? Watch the video!
Can’t wait for our next action!
In a symbolic act, we will burst a balloon filled with emission permits suspended above a stage at the Pariser Platz, in front of the Brandenburg Gate at 12.15. This way 350 tonnes of CO2 will be destroyed with a bang.
The emission permits were purchased and deleted by TheCompensators* using donated funds – the pollution rights will no longer be available to industry.
Be in Pariser Platz on October 24th at 11.30 a.m.: a TV-show, 350 Chancellors, Angels, Devils and the 350 balloon will be waiting for you!
Click here to download the flyer in German.
To know more about the 350 Climate Action day, please visit 350.org
Spread the word, join us on Saturday, become a member or make a donation, whether 3.50, 35.00, or 350.00, euros, dollars, pounds or pesos, your contribution will help buying 350 (or even more!) EUAs, which we will destroy on Saturday, October 24th.
Any questions or suggestions? Contact us!
TheCompensators* would like to thank all the people who attended the Vernissage der Klimaretterand helped deleting 40 tonnes of CO2!
When? Sunday, October 18th 2009 from 5 to 8 pm
Where? in Berlin-Neukölln, Karl-Marx-Str. 168 (Atelier Bär – Methane Factory)
Come along and enjoy a CO2-neutral aperitif as well as the climate friendly artwork of the virtual “Methane Factory” recently founded by the Berlin artist Gerhard Bär. You will also have the opportunity to buy your own emission permits and thus become part of our “350t CO2 action“.
P.S. You are kindly requested to pay a small entrance fee (min. 3 Euros).
We hope you have already heard about 350.org and the 350 ppm climate action day on October 24th…
If not, it’s time to know what 350.org is about
350.org is an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis–the solutions that justice demand.
The focus is on the number 350–as in parts per million, the level scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. But 350 is more than a number–it’s a symbol of where we need to head as a planet.
TheCompensators* have met with 350.org and decided to take action together to get 350 t of CO2 out of the EU ETS on October 24th.
So far TheCompensators* have deleted nearly 2000 EUAs from the EU ETS. Collecting the money to purchase 350 EUAs is feasible.
But we need YOUR HELP!
Spread the word, become a member or make a donation, whether 3.50, 35.00, or 350.00, euros, dollars, pounds or pesos, your contribution will help buying 350 (or even more!) EUAs, which we will delete publicly on October 24th.
Any questions or suggestions? Contact us!
TheCompensators* have just deleted 63 EUAs
Please have a look at our transaction list which documents the 1891 EUAs we have deleted so far!
We can report that we have finally, after a long wait, been able to purchase and delete 215 EUAs as of today. The register now provides data export, so please have a look at our transaction list (including the ones from 2007) here.
We just transferred €4699.45 to our broker and await a lot of around 172 EUAs to be delivered for deletion to our account by next week. Once Hannah is back from Indonesia and the EUAs are ready to be deleted, we will do so and keep you updated on the website.
We could purchase EUAs from Austria and stock them at our brokers account. Deletion and proof in Austria are not possible yet, firstly when the registers are coupled (October). We are discussing whether purchasing and stocking, followed by a deletion once we got the EUAs is the best option to pursue.
The BMU just announced that the registers of the EU and the ones of the UNFCCC will be coupled in October. Until then, the German accounts will be kept closed and no allocations will take place. Thus, it is impossible to purchase EUAs in Germany, until the coupling has taken place. We now inquire whether a purchase in Austria is feasible. If it is, we will do so.
We are still waiting until we can do the first transaction of 2008. Unfortunately we were not able to do a transaction in germany yet. There would be the possibility to do it via Austria, and let the Austrian registry delete the emission allowances, but we do not find this appropriate. We will investigate whether now is the time to do a transaction in Germany, and if not, whether a transaction in Austria can be made with a proof of deletion which we can present. We are grateful for your patience and apologise for any inconveniences.
Up to now it was not possible to obtain EUAs from the registers in Germany. It would have been possible to purchase EUAs in Austria, though, but then we would have not been able to delete them by ourselves. This is why we decided to wait until a purchase in Germany will be possible. Our broker said this would approximately be from July on.
Thus, we will soon get in touch with him to see whether a purchase is possible. In case this is so, we will use 90% our savings to purchase a lot of EUAs which will be retired as soon as we obtain them. As of today we have saved up to € 4 670.55.
The second trading period has already started. We wanted to buy and delete EUAs with the money we have saved up until now. Unfortunately, this is not possible yet, since the registries are not ready yet. Our broker informed us, that trading at the moment is only possible in Austria, the German registry is not ready yet. Thus, we need to wait until we can trade here in Germany, so that we can actually delete the emission allowances from our account at the German national registry. According to our broker, this will be possible late spring or summer this year. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause for you. If you have further questions, please simply contact us via the contact form.