links about us archives search home
SustainabiliTankSustainabilitank menu graphic

Follow us on Twitter


Posted on on April 14th, 2007
by Pincas Jawetz (

Now, as we go much less to the UN as before, this thanks to the UN gate watchdogs Fawzi & Fowlie, who are intent, by hook or crook, to remove the inquiring press from being present in the Press Briefing room – now – I do not make this up – it slowly will be documented on this site, the positive attitude is that we have now more time to review events in the real world. Thursday the April 12th we attended three such events.

A. 12:30 – 14:00 PM     – The Presentation by old Natural Gas hand, Jonathan Stern – the Director of   Gas Research, Oxford Institute of Energy Studies, and Honorary   Professor at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum & Mineral Law & Policy, University of Dundee. Since 1992 he has been Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs’ Sustainable Development (formerly Energy and Environment) Programme; and since 2001 Honorary Principal Research Fellow in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology at Imperial College in London. From 1985-92, he was Head of the Energy and Environmental Programme, based at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London. From October 1990 to September 1991, he was Director of Studies at the Institute. Jonathan P. Stern is the author of “The Future of Russian Gas and Gazprom.”

This event was being hold at the Center for Energy, Marine Transportation and Public Policy, Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027

At the same time, in parallel, Governor Schwarzenegger was speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations on the Greening of the   Golden State of California.

B. 3:00 – 5:30 PM     – A very Special Event “A Letter To The Stars – Botschafter Der   Errinerung (“Ambassadors of Remembrance”)” which is a great story of Austrian Schoolchildren who through the internet were able to compile a very unique list of 2,500 people from Austria, who survived the Nazi regime in concentration camps, in hiding, or in exile, and now live around the globe. The Austrian high school students contacted on a one-to-one basis the people on that list, and asked them if they want to share their memories and experiences with young people from their former country, who really are trying to understand the human aspects of what has happened. Some of the exchanges, in a program that started in 2003, has by now become material for joint publications intended to keep the memory alive of this remnant of the survivors, before it is too late.The event held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, New York, NY and was attended by quite a few of these pairs of old&young friends – some of whom were just meeting for the first time, and others had already encounters when the former refugees/survivors came to visit in Austria.   The website of the Austrian Initiative: One such pair, both spoke at this reunion,   a young girl who found on that list the name of a man who lived in the same street in the Vienna district of Hitzing, where she and her parents reside now, and that was her reason for picking him for contact,   seem now to have become somehow an extended family- this because of that common angle in their humanity.

To-date, more than 40,00 high school students have participated in this project and it is the largest school project on contemporary history in Austria. Spin-off projects evolve – the like of the May 5, 2006 “Flowers of Remembrance” where the students put a white rose in front of the 80,000 known addresses were a victim of the Nazi regime used to live. In May 2005 the students took 100,000 candles to Mauthausen concentration camp in memory of the 100,000 people that were killed there. In May 2004 they planted 100,000 sunflowers there. In may 2003 they release 80,000 white balloons in the Heldenplatz in Vienna..

C. 5:30 – 8:00 PM – The Chicago Climate Exchange that is actually based in New York City, and Tudor Investment Corporation, presented at the Energy Forum Inc. of New York City, a discussion on matters relating to “Public Policy and Climate Change initiatives.”   This was about Carbon Trading as the financial mechanism to turn the Kyoto Protocol Mechanisms Into reality. NYU Professor of Economics, Dermot Gately, former consultant to the World Bank, the IMF, the US DOE, the IEA, ExxonMobil, ARCO, and Saudi ARAMCO, and is President of the Energy Forum Inc., was the Moderator, with Robert McNally, Managing Director of Tudor, and Paula DiPerna, Exec VP of the Exchange. Present at the Forum events are people from business Intelligence organizations, Law firms, some oil companies, academics etc.

In this article we will cover some of the things we heard from Mr.Stern in event (A), and we will bring out our own main idea that was born from the situation as described by Mr.Stern – then we will Jump over to event (C) and we will bring in the same question that we asked in event (A).

We will not write here further on ideas connecting that human aspect of event (B) that makes actually a very logical connection to what we have in mind, when talking of the issues in the other two events, but trust me, in some later article we will come back also to that.

Mr. Stern presented to us the Natural Gas supply and demand situation in Europe, the already existing shortage, and the projected future increased shortage when the UK also becomes now an importer of gas, the Netherlands starting their decline in production in 2015, and Norway in 2020. He does not see in this a “train wreck” he does not believe in increased imports via pipelines, but he thinks that eventually all will prefer the flexibility of sea transport as LNG. We saw all the potential pipelines involved – the pipelines via Tanger in Morocco, those through Sicily and those through Sardinia. Then the various pipelines from Russia and Central Asia, and his bottom line was that there will not be available the supplies needed to expand and diversify these pipelines at a time that Russia projects a large increase in its domestic market for gas.

He kept pointing out the double whammy, that Russia and the other former CIS are suffering from very old infrastructure, and very inefficient use of their Natural Gas, and the serious underpricing of the gas for their internal market. Nevertheless, they did increase the price to the Ukraine and Belorussian satellite (and transit) markets, pushing them to the level of international pricing, but they will be much slower doing that inside the country for internal policy reasons – thus continuing to suffer from the inefficiency of using a lot of cheap gas, rather then less gas at a higher price, that could come from rejuvenating their industry.

When the Q&A period arrived, I brought up the Kyoto Protocol mechanisms. At first, in all honesty, KP would not have come into existence if there were not people believing that the “hot air ” issue will give a boost to the former CIS. That so called “hot air” was created by the fact that Russian industry at that time, did halt to a stand still – so they could claim they are emitting less in 1997 then their industry did     emit in 1990. But nothing happened because the KP was not ratified fast enough – and now there is no “hot air” because they climbed back, with mainly the same old equipment, and emit now more then they should! But now, instead of using the CDM KP mechanism, why not go for the JI KP mechanism with full throttle? And backed up by government agreements that could thus also level some of the political disagreements between the EU and Russia – with the introduction of serious joint economic interests.

All EU-Russia meetings in the last couple of years deal with the gas supply to the EU, why not turn this into a — we build you highly efficient new industry and you provide us the gas saved at a going international price? That would be fair to everyone and everyone wins. There would be a saving of CO2 emissions in the former CIS, and this would justify the use of the Joint Implementation Kyoto Mechanism. On the European side, with gas they could start replacing coal fired plants, and also gain in environment terms further decrease in CO2 emissions. The Russian population would get their increased standard of living, but the difference is now that their improved industry would be less polluting!

Now lets go to the other side of the ocean, to the late evening discussion at the McGraw Hill building.

THE PAULA DI PERNA and the Chicago Climate Exchange PRESENTATION:
She was talking about the permits’market in the US and in Europe – this at a time that the US Supreme Court makes it possible to have non-challenge-able State reductions rullings of CO2 emissions – even with a still recalcitrant Federal Administration. This was for the first time that I heard the Chicago Exchange get on solid ground. Before, when they initiated a contract based on voluntary participation, it looked to me as a great idea to have the exchange there ready, when the government removes its damming activity on the anti-global warming international and national activities – we said that the talk of voluntary action is the US version of ‘hot air.” It was not very attractive to sit in Chicago or New York and to try to take advantage of laws that were passed in Europe, but rejected by Washington. An exchange in the US, needs US clients, and US clients will come about if there are US laws – that seems to me simple logic.

OK, now, after the large markets for permits in Germany (the Largest), the Netherlands, it is California and the North East (the RGGI region), that together amount to half of the German market. But this is a start – now we have something to go by, and those ready to invest, can indeed prepare to do so.

Now again my question from the earlier meeting. Could the Chicago Exchange get involved in creating permits by working with the Russians? It is quit feasible but they think the Europeans will get involved, but then sometimes a technology might be available here and the EU really wants the gas – so with US involvement, there is a risk-spreading effect and credits are credits – specially as it was pointed out by Mr. Robert McNally that Senator Obama made the correct obsevation about Liquefied Coal that it is still …coal. So, the US idea of createing a new source for US fuels via coal liqefaction, will never fly in a Kyoto, or post-Kyoto context.


Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a comment for this article