Category: Corporations


The UK government has made more than €1bn ($1.35bn) selling carbon permits to polluting businesses, and could make billions more each year for the next decade, research published Thursday shows. But despite pressure from the European Union, none of the revenue raised is being directed towards green projects.

On Thursday, the UK made about 63 million Euros off a new batch of permits, the first since trading was halted for two weeks after hackers stole around 40 million Euros worth of the permits. The government plans to hold five more auctions this year, selling 17.5m permits, which could represent a gain to the Treasury of more than €260m at current carbon prices. From 2013, the government stands to make as much as €8bn a year, according to estimates from the UK’s Carbon Trust.

Permit auctions started in 2008, when changes to the EU’s rules on emissions trading meant member state governments were allowed to sell off up to 10% of their allocation of permits, which had previously been given out for free. The UK decided to auction 7%, covering the emissions of the power sector.

From 2013, about half of the total number of permits available are expected to be sold. The only companies expected to receive their permits free of charge are those in industries particularly vulnerable to competition from overseas businesses that are not subject to the same strict environmental regulations.

The enlarged number of permits available for auctioning will greatly boost the government’s revenues from the scheme, according to the Carbon Trust, while simultaneously helping the environment by forcing companies to reduce carbon emissions or buy permits off other companies (who would thus have to have fewer emissions).

All in all, a good day for the environment and the UK government.

Poor Polar Bears…

While the US and southern Canada relish a golden, warm autumn, way up north the polar bears of Churchill, Manitoba, are heading to the shores of Hudson Bay.

They are waiting for the bay to freeze so they can end their months-long fast and hunt seals. But these days their wait for the ice can be four to six weeks longer than in decades and centuries past. And in the spring the ice melts earlier, forcing them back to land where they fast again throughout the longer warmer seasons.

“It makes you appreciate how fragile the ecosystem is,”  Churchill zoo communications manager Steve Pine said. “It’s really too bad that it’s come to this- how can polar bears be expected to survive and multiply in these conditions? And what can one group or one person actually do?”

Personally, I certainly wish one person could make a huge difference. But it takes the agreement of corporations, the government, and the population to do anything real and substantial- this is why it’s so hard to actually tackle the (SUPPOSED) climate change. I only say ‘supposed’ because naysayers provide reasonable evidence, but how can you say that nothing is happening when a fragile ecosystem is getting ruined and not melting and freezing on time?

The melting of the polar ice caps is as real as the world we live in. How come we can’t solve these environmental problems?

Michael O'Leary

‘Just when you thought Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary chief executive couldn’t make a bigger prat of himself, he manages to up the ante. This time, by quite a some considerable margin.

In his latest tirade against all things environmental, he appears to be inviting the audience to play “climate sceptic bingo”. Read all the clichés and canards contained within each of the sentences he utters:

“Nobody can argue that there isn’t climate change. The climate’s been changing since time immemorial.

Do I believe there is global warming? No, I believe it’s all a load of bulls**t. But it’s amazing the way the whole f**king eco-warriors and the media have changed. It used to be global warming, but now, when global temperatures haven’t risen in the past 12 years, they say ‘climate change’.

Well, hang on, we’ve had an ice age. We’ve also had a couple of very hot spells during the Middle Ages, so nobody can deny climate change. But there’s absolutely no link between man-made carbon, which contributes less than 2% of total carbon emissions [and climate change].”

He mocked global warming campaigners, describing the United Nations as “one of the world’s most useless organisations”, its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as “utter tosh”, and US politician Al Gore as someone who “couldn’t even get f**king re-elected” after a boom.’

It’s pretty clear that Michael O’Leary is a very opinionated man. As cost-effective airline Ryanair’s CEO, he has used his position to slant any and all ecocentrics rather brashly. His position is very anti-ecocentric, leaning more towards anthropocentric (although he is quite rude and doesn’t appear to like most people).

I think we can all agree that one thing is for sure – Michael O’Leary is no eco-warrior!