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Author Archives: Jim Kharouf

About Author

Kharouf is a Chicago-based freelance reporter and editor who was previously CEO and editor-in-chief of John Lothian News.

Commentary: March 16, 2010 Standard

In a story today (See top story in Leads – Senate climate bill to set utility cap-trade: senator) which featured an anonymous US Senator, Reuters reported that the current Senate bill being worked on will include carbon cap-and-trade for the utility sector only. We can narrow down the list of possible sources here to 50, of course, but the fact that this Senator did not have the gumption to be named in the short piece shows just how politically charged this issue has become in Washington. In the interest of special interests and political pandering, Washington is now angling for the…

Five Minutes with Miles Austin Standard

Miles Austin

Miles Austin took the reigns as the new director of the Carbon Markets and Investors Association (CMIA), this month. Prior to joining CMIA, he served as head of European regulatory affairs at EcoSecurities. He spoke with Environmental Markets Newsletter Editor Jim Kharouf about his start in the industry, how the emissions markets are doing today and dealing with climate skeptics. Q: How did you get started in the emissions markets? A: I got started via the Imperial College ICET MSc where I specialized in global environmental change and policy. That got me into the whole idea of carbon trading. I…

Cap-and-trade on the rocks Standard

By Jim Kharouf Call it a wrap. The election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts this week was a major blow to carbon cap-and-trade legislation in the US this year. But let’s face it, the 60-seat Dems were not getting it done on health care or financial reforms which simply pushed energy and climate legislation down the priority ladder. One more Republican wasn’t a backbreaker for the climate legislation. It was general voter and Congressional apathy on the subject, climate confusion campaigns and a lack of a cohesive Democratic leadership on the bill was largely what has put cap-and-trade in jeapordy….

Fixing what’s broken Standard

A loyal and longtime EMN reader pointed out a poignant issue facing the US and the international community. He points out the ongoing trend of futility in Washington and at the UN level on climate change, means “The world of nations is squandering the opportunity to jump start the initial solution to climate change problems and the attending environmental impacts. At the national level in the U.S., each political party has rejected the other and is determined to sacrifice national success in order to retain or obtain majority control. At the international level, the handful of the most influential nations…

FEX finds climate friendly in China Standard

One of the things I like about this space is the ongoing efforts to innovate in a global manner. Such is the case with the Financial and Energy Exchange (FEX). Yes, the exchange, which aims to offer everything from carbon to energies on its OTC and futures trading platform to clean-tech stocks, is a sponsor of EMN. But that is not the reason FEX is being featured today. Last week, FEX signed an memorandum of understanding with the China Beijing Environmental Energy Exchange (CBEEX) to establish an international carbon trading platform , contribute to the development of markets for clean-tech…

Chinese the focus of intense debate Standard

We’ve got good news, bad news and worse news. The good news is that China has announced its target for emissions reductions. The bad news is that the 40% target is an “intensity-based” goal. The worse news is that the intensity-based approach is not a very good model at all and is a difficult model on which to build a market structure. For those who disagree, we only have to look at Canada, for an example of a government that reluctantly engaged in the carbon markets with intensity-based targets. In all actuality, it killed the budding carbon-market that was being…

Five Minutes with John Prestbo Standard

John Prestbo

John Prestbo, editor and executive director of Dow Jones Indexes, spoke with JLN’s Jim Kharouf about his start in journalism with The Wall Street Journal, his experience with Dow Jones Indexes and his hobby, painting. Q: You’ve been around the markets for more than 30 years, what would say have been the biggest changes in the markets during that time? A: Electronic trading would have to be at the top of the list. Trading happens a lot faster and a lot cleaner than it used to. Commissions are a lot lower. That’s another way of saying that competition has increased…

US Policy Makers And Business Leaders Climb The Carbon Ladder Standard

By Jim Kharouf When world leaders gather at the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen this December to produce the next agreement on curbing global warming since the Kyoto Protocol, the US will still be edging closer to a mandatory cap and trade solution to reducing greenhouse gases. Cap-and-trade legislation is moving through Congress, but will not be completed by December, leaving a hole in the UN negotiations between the US and the world — particularly with China and India where curbs on global warming have, until only recently, been a sticking point. Nonetheless, the prospect of having a US…

Missing the mark Standard

Today’s stories illustrate two major disconnects between Congress and the Obama Administration and Congress and the rest of the world. While Obama and his team are pushing for new and significant agreement between the US and China, there is little doubt that it is all being undermined by the inaction in Congress. Boxer, Kerry and others threw in the 2009 towel now on climate change legislation and will take up the measure in Q1 2010. I can only imagine what the Chinese must be thinking as they nod in agreement that much needs to be done – and the US…