Environment Forum

“Post 2012″ strikes fear in carbon market players

No pun intended but for the world’s carbon community, times are looking a little black.

The global financial crisis, or GFC as it is being called this week during Australia’s largest ever carbon market gathering, is deeply troubling many participants. But a larger, more worrying issue remains “post 2012″.

This is when the Clean Development Mechanism under the current phase of the U.N. Kyoto Protocol runs out, along with the hundreds of CDM projects already approved and the 3,000 still awaiting approval by a U.N. board.

U.N. talks at the end of next year aim to agree on a broader replacement for Kyoto from 2013 and market players are hoping those talks don’t fail. Already there are fears that some rich nations will use the financial crisis as an excuse to say now is not the time to be negotiating tougher emissions curbs that might hurt industry and cost jobs.

“The volume of primary CDM activity is declining. Every month virtually this year, the number of new CDM transactions has been in decline. And that’s because the 2012 deadline is approaching and we’re running out of runway,” said Paul Bodnar, Manager of¬†¬†Carbon Markets at London-based Climate Change Capital.

What’s a green winery to do?

far-niente-3.JPGWhen Napa Valley winery Far Niente resolved to embrace solar power, it faced a big hurdle: how to install ground-mounted panels without sacrificing acres of valuable Cabernet vines.

Enter the latest solar innovation — solar panels that can float on the water rather than being mounted on the ground.

The system, which was given the witty name “Floatovoltaic,” was made by securing 1,000 solar panels on pontoons and floating them on an irrigation pond at the 100-acre Martin Sterling Vineyard, whose grapes make Cabernet Sauvignon wine.

First Solar chief thinks solar backpacks are “cool”

Voltaic Systems Solar BackpackSolar power company First Solar may be worth $19.6 billion, but its CEO is still tickled by the latest “green” consumer products.

Take solar backpacks, for instance. The trendy totes boast photovoltaic solar panels that generate power for consumers to recharge their iPods, digital cameras or other electronic devices.

“Things like the solar backpack, things that are off-grid… that can be intermittent or even charging a small battery, that stuff’s kind of cool. And there’s a real functional use to that,” Ahearn said in an interview with Reuters.