LONDON Dec 21 U.N. climate talks ended with a
bare minimum agreement on Saturday when delegates "noted" an
accord struck by the U.S., China and other emerging powers that
falls far short of the conference's original goals.
The European Union said the accord -- weaker than a legally
binding treaty and weaker even than the 'political' deal many
had foreseen -- was not ambitious enough to persuade it to raise
its carbon cutting target to a 30 percent cut by 2020 versus
1990 levels from a 20 percent cut. [ID:nLDE5BI00Z]
The Copenhagen Accord also cast more uncertainty on the
post-2012 future of carbon offset trading schemes under the
Kyoto Protocol called the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and
Joint Implementation (JI).
Analysts and traders weighed in on how this will affect
prices for EU Allowances, the carbon permits traded under the
EU's $92 billion Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), for
Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs), the offsets traded under
the CDM, and how it will affect the development of global carbon
markets in general.
EUA prices CFI2Zc1 were down 8 percent to 12.40 euros a
tonne early on Monday. [ID:nLDE5BK063]
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR CARBON PRICES?
* Mark C. Lewis, analyst at Deutsche Bank
"There is now no near-term prospect of the EU raising its
2020 target. As a result, sentiment will be negatively affected
and we expect EUA prices to decline over the next few sessions."
"With the selling of surplus EUAs by industrials in early
2010 already a real possibility before the outcome of Copenhagen
was known, we would not now be surprised to see sustained EUA
price weakness through to the middle or end of Feb. 2010."
"The development of new CDM projects is likely to slow over
the course of next year, and perhaps significantly so."
* Emmanuel Fages, analyst at Societe Generale
"The mood will be bearish and EUA prices could drop up 1-1.5
euros on Monday. I do not think many speculators had long
positions left - they started being disposed of on Thursday.
What we could see is not mainly length sales, but short
creation. Prices cannot go down very far. Sentiment is not
enough to move prices much as fundamentals will continue driving
the scheme for the operators."
* Meg Brown, analyst at Citigroup
"The unsatisfactory outcome of the negotiations now makes it
unlikely that the 20 percent target will be changed, in our
view, with the most likely reconsideration of the target not
until 2015 -- in line with the new accord's timeline."
"This is likely to result in a negative impact on EUA prices
in the short term, through 2010 and potentially through to 2020.
We assume an average Phase 2 EUA price of 20 euros per tonne,
rising to 25 euros in 2013 and 30 euros in 2020, based on an
expectation of some tightening of the scheme from 2013. Our
floor price for periods of low permit demand is 10 euros."
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR CARBON MARKETS IN GENERAL?
* Trevor Sikorski, director at Barclays Capital
"This is a very disappointing outcome that is even below our
modest expectations. The news is bearish for the market and
bearish for the world. I see nothing here that should drive
investment in the carbon commodity and low carbon technology."
* David Metcalfe, director at Verdantix
"A non-binding agreement that codifies national commitments
and includes voluntary emission reductions of countries like
China significantly increases the probability that the
Kerry-Boxer (U.S. cap and trade) legislation will be passed."
"Executives responsible for energy and climate change plans
should avoid new investments in the Kyoto-based global carbon
markets. Badly defined rules, insufficient UN staff and a
depressed carbon price conspire to make this a very high risk
market. The accord further postpones crucial reform of this
dysfunctional market mechanism."
* James Cameron, vice-chairman at Climate Change Capital
"There are small encouragements in the reform of the CDM
which should make the process better - quicker, fairer and more
effective at taking tonnes of carbon out of the atmosphere."
* Mark C. Lewis, Deutsche Bank
"It heightens uncertainty over the continuation of the CDM
and JI mechanisms beyond 2012, at least in their current forms."
"This opens up the possibility of ... bilateral deals
between the EU and third countries under which emissions
reduction projects could be established in to generate credits
for use in the EU ETS over 2013-20 (note: any such credits would
complement, not replace, Kyoto offsets."
* Meg Brown, Citigroup
"International offset markets were hoping for detail on how
CDM would be expanded, perhaps including sector-specific
benchmarks and an expansion of the market's size. Heavy industry
must wait longer for clarification of emission liabilities and
international abatement mechanisms ... This will likely
perpetuate carbon market uncertainty post 2012."
* Richard Gledhill, head of climate change and carbon market
"President Obama gave a clear message in his speech in
Copenhagen - America is going to take action on climate now. If
passed by Congress, climate legislation in the U.S. could create
a market three times the size of the EU emissions trading
system. That would be a massive boost to the global carbon
market, but would also move its focus from London to New York."
(Compiled by Michael Szabo; Editing by Sue Thomas)