4.2 Regional, national, and sub-national policy, legal, and regulatory developments

Below the level of international negotiations and agreements, there has been moderate development in the policy environment at national and sub-national levels over the past year, but a surge of regulatory activity. A positive aspect is that many countries are hosting serious policy discussions on the role that national market-based mechanisms can play in establishing carbon prices, and the role carbon prices play in driving low-emission technology development objectives. There have been particularly notable developments in some jurisdictions, which will be watched closely by many others to evaluate the effectiveness of these emerging regimes.

An overview of recent policy developments by country is in Appendix E. A summary of the major developments is in Table 9 Significant developments include:

  • Australia’s introduction of a carbon pricing arrangement from 1 July 2012 (transitioning to an ETS in 2015);
  • commencement of California’s ETS at the start of 2012;
  • Mexico’s passing of its General Law on Climate Change (GLCC) encouraging the development of an ETS; and
  • South Africa’s latest Budget Statement indicating that a revised White Paper on a carbon tax will be published in 2012.

TABLE 9 Summary of major policy developments

COUNTRY POLICY ANNOUNCEMENT SUMMARY
Australia Administrative carbon pricing arrangements commenced 1 July 2012.
Released a draft Energy White Paper called Strengthening the Foundation for Australia’s Energy Future (late 2011).
CCS Ready Policy abandoned due to introduction of carbon price (2012).
ETS scheduled to start on 1 July 2015.
ETS will be linked to the EU ETS from July 2015, with a full two-way link no later than July 2018.
Brazil Rio de Janeiro’s ETS to start in 2013 delayed (2012).
Exploring national ETS.
Continues to be a major CDM player.
Bulgaria Secured derogation under EU ETS for free allocation of allowances to power plants in Phase III (2012).
Released Bulgarian National Energy Strategy until 2020 (2011).
Canada Release of draft Reduction of Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Coal-Fired Generation of Electricity Regulations for 2015 (late 2011).
China Energy Intensity targets tightened (May 2012).
Implementing ETS pilots (at sub-national level) for 2013 start.
Beijing ETS releases rules for 2013 start (2012).
NDRC release rules for domestic carbon offset market (2012).
Exploring national ETS for potential 2015 start.
EU Released White Paper on enhancing mitigation ambition to 30 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.
On track to selling 200 million allowances by 2 Oct 2012 to support CCS projects.
End of EU ETS phase II (31 December 2012), and start of phase III (1 January 2013).
India Intention to launch 9th Mission (clean coal technologies) under National Action Plan on Climate Change announced.
Industrial energy efficiency targets with tradable instruments announced (mid-2012).
National Clean Energy Fund (sourced from coal levy).
Indonesia Exploring a national ETS.
Japan Actively promoting its Bilateral Offset Crediting Mechanism.
A new energy blueprint is expected to be released in late 2012.
Korea ETS law passed by National Assembly (May 2012) for 2015 commencement.
Commitment of funds to the value of 2 per cent of GDP (2009–2013) to foster ’green’ growth.
Mexico Passed The General Law on Climate Change (2012).
Exploring a national ETS.
National Energy Strategy 2012-26, presented to Congress in March 2012 includes CCS goals.
Netherlands Released its Energy Report (2011).
Norway Released a White Paper on Climate Change Actions (2012).
Increased carbon tax rates.
Romania Secured derogation under EU ETS for free allocation of allowances to power plants in Phase III (2012).
Russia Released Russian Federation’s Climate Doctrine for the Period until 2020 (2011).
South Africa Treasury Budget (2012) announced White Paper on Carbon Tax in 2012.
Exploring carbon tax for potential 2013 start.
National Climate Change Response Policy, endorsed by Cabinet October 2011, identifies CCS as one of South Africa’s eight near-term Priority Flagship Programmes.
Spain Carbon Fund for a Sustainable Economy established (late 2011).
Is the second largest buyer of CDM credits (CERs).
Sweden Increases in its energy and CO2 tax (2011).
Developing a carbon neutral by 2050 roadmap by end of 2012.
Trinidad and Tobago Release of National Climate Change Policy (mid-2011).
UK Released The Carbon Plan (2011).
Released CCS Roadmap Supporting deployment of CCS in the UK (2012).
Scotland released its Electricity Generation Policy Statement (2012).
USA Release of EPA’s rules for emission performance of new coal plant (mid-2012).
Clean energy standard strongly supported by President (March 2012).

Generally speaking, and as indicated in Figure 36, there is a broad relationship between the carbon intensity of a country (depicted as emissions per capita on the right-hand axis) and the comprehensiveness of its CCS-relevant policy portfolio (depicted as an index on the left-hand axis). Given this, it is not surprising that much of the policy and regulatory developments continue to be in developed countries, and in those developing countries with relatively high levels or intensities of carbon emissions.

FIGURE 36 Relationship between policy and emissions