Monday, May 7, 2007

Global Warming Investment Themes from the IPCC

Speaking of themes, mine this week will be on where the IPCC is leading us.

The first one that jumped out from the report, under the heading "Key mitigation technologies and practices currently commercially available" was buildings:

Efficient lighting and daylighting; more efficient electrical appliances and heating and cooling devices; improved cook stoves, improved
insulation ; passive and active solar design for heating and cooling; alternative refrigeration fluids, recovery and recycle of fluorinated gases.

This ties in to the post at EnergySpin from last thursday. (HT WSJ EnergyRoundup)

On page 19 of the SPM we read "Energy efficiency options for new and existing buildings could considerably reduce CO2 emissions with net economic benefit. Many barriers exist against tapping this potential, but there are also large co-benefits (high agreement, much evidence). By 2030, about 30% of the projected GHG emissions in the building sector can be avoided with net economic benefit.
Energy efficient buildings, while limiting the growth of COB2B emissions, can also
improve indoor and outdoor air quality, improve social welfare and enhance energy security.

• Opportunities for realising GHG reductions in the building sector exist worldwide.
However, multiple barriers make it difficult to realise this potential. These barriers include availability of technology, financing, poverty, higher costs of reliable information, limitations inherent in building designs and an appropriate portfolio of policies and programs.
• The magnitude of the above barriers is higher in the developing countries and this
makes it more difficult for them to achieve the GHG reduction potential of the building sector.

I've always thought a pretty simple way to sequester carbon was to turn trees into 2x4's, but maybe not:

15. Forest-related mitigation activities can considerably reduce emissions from sources
and increase CO2 removals by sinks at low costs, and can be designed to create synergies with adaptation and sustainable development (high agreement, much evidence)

About 65% of the total mitigation potential (up to 100 US$/tCOB2B-eq) is located in
the tropics and about 50% of the total could be achieved by reducing emissions from
• Climate change can affect the mitigation potential of the forest sector (i.e., native
and planted forests) and is expected to be different for different regions and sub10
regions, both in magnitude and direction.
• Forest-related mitigation options can be designed and implemented to be compatible
with adaptation, and can have substantial co-benefits in terms of employment,
income generation, biodiversity and watershed conservation, renewable energy
supply and poverty alleviation.
Footnote-Tuvalu noted difficulties with the reference to “low costs” as Chapter 9, page 15 of the WG III report states that: “the cost of forest mitigation projects rise significantly when opportunity costs of land are taken into account”.

The policy prescriptions? (p.31)

Appliance standards and labelling-- Periodic revision of standards needed.

Building codes and certification Attractive for new buildings. Enforcement can be difficult.

Demand-side management programmes-- Need for regulations so that utilities may profit.

Public sector leadership programmes, including procurement--Government purchasing can
expand demand for energyefficient products.

Incentives for energy service companies (ESCOs)--Success factor: Access to third party financing.

Don't get me going on bureaucratese, sheesh.