Costa Rica Aims For Carbon Neutrality By 2021, But Plans $1.5 Billion Oil Refinery

This is a guest post by Diego Arguedas Ortiz.

Costa Rica’s plan to build a $1.5 billion oil refinery, a joint venture with China’s state-owned petroleum company China National Petroleum Corporation, continues to cast doubt on the country’s path toward a low-carbon future and the feasibility of its self-imposed goal of being carbon neutral by 2021.

The project — sold to the public as a mechanism to lower oil costs in the Central American republic — is financed by a $900-million loan to Costa Rica from the China Development Bank and another $600 million provided by both countries.

The project has sparked a heated national debate on energy policies, the congruency of the nation’s environmental discourse and the thoroughness of its own feasibility study.

Can You Guess How Climate Deniers Reacted to the Stern Review on Climate Change Economics?

In this DeSmog UK epic history post, we recall the climate denial backlash to the influential Stern Review, which called climate change the greatest market failure ever seen.

Tony Blair heeded an appeal made by Lord Lawson and the climate sceptic economist David Henderson that the Treasury in Britain and finance ministries around the world should take an active interest in the economic implications of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) findings.

And so Gordon Brown, as chancellor, commissioned Nicholas Stern, then a permanent secretary at the Treasury and head of the Government Economic Service, to conduct an exhaustive study into the economics of climate change.

Richard Tol's Gremlins Continue to Undermine His Work

This is a guest post by Brandon Shollenberger 

Global warming is, if you'll forgive the pun, possibly the most heated topic of debate this century.  While most debate over it focuses on extreme weather, sea level rise and climatic events, there is another part.  This is the part that focuses on the economics of global warming.  That is, how will global warming affect our wallets?

At the forefront of this debate is Richard Tol, professor of economics at the University of Sussex.  His work on the economics of global warming is relied upon by climate skeptics like Matt Ridley, who has used it to argue, “Climate change has done more good than harm so far and is likely to continue doing so for most of this century,” based on graphs like:

Permits Required to Build TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline in Jeopardy As Hearings Reveal Missteps

TransCanada’s decision to purchase all of the pipe needed to complete the Keystone XL Pipeline before receiving a presidential permit could prove a costly mistake.

Not only is President Obama expected to reject the permit TransCanada needs in order to cross the U.S.-Canadian border, the company must recertify an expired permit before it can install the pipeline though South Dakota as well.

At a hearing that began on July 29 in Pierre, South Dakota, the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is tasked to decide if it should recertify the company’s permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline through the state. Those opposing the Keystone XL, referred to as interveners, are making the case that TransCanada is not up to the job.

Wind Farm Subsidies Bad; Farm Subsidies Good

Climate deniers have huffed and puffed in their war against wind farms in Britain, claiming that environmental subsidies are a pernicious evil taxing the poor and distorting the market

And their cries were heard. In June, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) blocked subsidies for new onshore windfarms. One month later, the department has now turned its sights to solar as Amber Rudd, head of DECC, announced cuts to small scale solar power.

But while renewable energy subsidies remain in the crosshairs, the funders and supporters of Lord Lawson’s climate denying Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) are more than willing to claim any farm subsidies that come their way.

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