Reports and briefings

The following reports and briefings have been produced thanks to the support of our core funders: The European Climate Foundation, the The Ecofin Foundation and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.

Bespoke analysis, reports and briefings on a range of topics can be commissioned - please contact us if you wish to discuss options.

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    October 2015

    Sandbag is eager to see a strong 5th carbon budget put in place that ensures the UK can fully meet its international obligations and cost-effectively meet its 2050 target.

    This will require building in appropriate margins of error when estimating our future EU commitments at such an advanced stage; it will require building in flexibility to accommodate any increase in Europe’s commitments over time; it will require that the abatement effort to meet the 2050 goal is not unrealistically deferred; and finally it will require clear accounting and strong governance to ensure appropriate measures are put in place to get us there.

    We provide some specific recommendations on these themes in the letter attached which we hope might inform the Climate Change Committee’s formal advice on the 5th carbon budget.

    October 2015

    The term 'Carbon Capture and Storage' (CCS) has been too narrowly focused on capturing CO2 emissions from coal power and building large transport and storage networks for deep geologic storage. In fact, CCS covers a suite of technologies for capturing CO2 emissions, and its most important use may be for capturing industrial process emissions. Equally, whilst deep geologic storage (for instance in old oil fields in the North Sea) is likely to capture the bulk of emissions, an important portion of emissions, especially from small distruibuted sources, could be captured through Mineral Carbonation: turning CO2 into minerals. This briefing looks at the possibilities for that technology, and serves as a reminder that if we're to successfully tackle climate change, we'll need a great variation of technologies.

    October 2015

    Sandbag's complementary briefing to accompany our response to theEuropean Commission's new Energy Market Design consultation. In it, we propose a European-wide electricity supplier decarbonisation obligation, to enable continued decarbonisation in the face of a weak EU carbon price, and weakly-enforcable renewables and energy-efficiency targets.

    September 2015

    This briefing represents Sandbag's official feedback to the Commission's draft ETS revision.

    Building on on our consultation submission and two reports published shortly before and shortly after the Commission proposal, this feedback seeks to summarise our main recommendations and update them in reference to the specific text proposed by the Commission.

    We emphasise the need for: 

    • An increase in the headline ambition of European climate targets and the ETS budget
    • Mechanisms that enable the ambition of the cap to be readily increased over time
    • Maintaining scarcity within the cap by protecting the Market Stability Reserve and enhancing the New Entrants Reserve
    • Tiered and targetted carbon leakage protections that prevent over-allocation and avoid a correction factor.
    • Measures to increase innovation funding and make it go further, with more money directed towards industrial decarbonisation​



    September 2015

    The Polish Ministry of the Economy has been consulting on Poland's energy policy for the first half of this century. The current draft largely forsees business as usual, with an enormous reliance on coal power without Carbon Capture and Storage. In Sandbag's response, we show that costs for consumers will be lower if Poland moves away from subsidising coal, and invests in energy efficiency, and a more balanced energy system including renewables, nuclear, and CCS&U.

    Read our response in Polish here.

    Read our response in English here.

    September 2015

    Response by the Carbon Tracker Initiative and Sandbag to the HM Treasury Technical Consultation on the Bank of England bill (Consultation closes 11th September 2015)

    August 2015

    There are strong environmental imperatives for reducing CO2 and the circular economy can play a critical role in delivering on emissions targets. At present, conventional fossil fuel energy plants along with many industrial facilities operate a linear process

    In many circles abating CO2 is seen as purely a liability and not yet as a business opportunity. As such, there is a growing risk that industry with high process emissions will either close or move out from under legally binding caps or stay and seek to undermine the meeting of emissions reductions targets and climate ambition more generally. Helping markets move away from BAU practices and adapt to low-carbon products will require that governments support circular business models and remove barriers that prevent low-carbon innovations being adopted in mainstream markets and products.

    August 2015
    Sandbag's recommendations on how to increase Europe’s economy-wide climate targets via the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
    As pressure builds towards Paris it is imperative that Europe look for opportunities to increase its climate offer in the UN climate negotiations. The current review of the ETS Directive offers an important opportunity to activate the “at least” in Europe’s current pledge to reduce emissions by at least 40% from 1990 levels by 2030. This opportunity should not be overshadowed by debates about protecting EU industrial competitiveness.
    We outlay a series of proposals by which Europe could significantly step up its climate ambition at minimum cost. We have three main recommendations:
    • Adopt a 25% target in 2020 by cancelling allowances from the Market Stability Reserve
    • Adopt a 50% target in 2030 through a tighter ETS cap, state-level offsets and a safety-valve mechanism
    • Keep all unallocated allowances in the Market Stability Reserve

    Read the blog here.

    July 2015

    Supporting EU competitiveness and innovation in the ETS 

    On Wednesday 15th July, the EU Commission released new legislation to reform Europe’s key climate policy, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). This kicks off a year-long debate about how best to marry low carbon ambitions with economic competitiveness. In this briefing, Sandbag explains how the current rules are not sufficiently encouraging major industrial emitters to invest in decarbonisation, and shares its recommendations for reform. Sandbag also launches a new interactive data tool illustrating how many spare free emissions rights industry has built up over time, and forecasting future supply balances.

    June 2015

    To promote CCS and other methods of deep industrial decarbonisation, a combination of additional Member State and EU support will be needed, well beyond the proposed Modernisation and NER 400 funds. A supporting policy should be explored based on Contracts For Difference (CFD), similar to the UK's electricity CFDs, but pegged to the carbon price rather than the wholesale electricity price. This could fund any technology which permanently stored or abated CO2 emissions.

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