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Rosalina Palanca-Tan, Catherine Roween Chico-Almaden, Ma. Kresna Navarro, Marichu Melendez-Obedencio and Caroline Laarni Rubio-Sereñas

The study measures the total economic value (TEV) of the flow of ecosystem services from the Cagayan de Oro (CDO) River Basin in Mindanao, Philippines. Estimates of the various components of TEV can serve as the basis and justification for the contributions that may be potentially collected from different economic sectors and social groups benefiting from the ecosystem’s services under a river basin-wide payment for environmental services (PES) scheme. Through PES, financial resources can be generated and used to reward local initiatives that restore and preserve the ecosystem. This approach has been identified as one strategic way to safeguard and enhance the continuing flow of environmental services from the river basin. Total benefits in the forms of stable supply of good-quality water, flood control, fishing and recreational value, and biodiversity are estimated to be about US$5.0–6.1 million per year.

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Ross Astoria

New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision is the nation’s leading attempt to realign the business and governance of structures of electrical utilities with the technological attributes of renewable energy resources. Under the traditional, centralized model, low-income households were the recipient of cross-class subsidies which preserved their access to heat and power while stabilizing utility revenues. As distributed energy resources decentralize the electrical system’s physical and governance structures, governments are presented with two general options. The first is energy apartheid, where the mass-affluent defect from the grid and leave low-income households exposed to a financially and physically destabilized grid. The second is energy democracy, where low-income households are allowed access to financing and governance structures which enable them to become owners of distributed energy resources. This chapter considers whether New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision is trending towards energy apartheid or energy democracy.

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Rowena Cantley-Smith

More than four decades of energy data reveal that global mitigation efforts to date are failing to rein in GHG emissions. This raises the issue of carbon lock-in (CO2 lock-in) in the electricity generation sector, where decisions are being made to extend the life of existing heavy-polluting infrastructure, or to engage in developments that fail to take account of new technologies and/or alternative energy sources. In this way, CO2 emissions being locked in for the expected lifetime of the stationary energy sector’s infrastructure, often well beyond recognised emissions reduction target periods. The consequences of inadequate global response to this looming problem are considerable, threatening the adequacy of GGEs’ mitigation and shifting substantially higher costs to the future. Existing policy and legislative responses of the EU and Australia are used to illustrate the divergent responses to this barrier to future decarbonisation of the energy sector.

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Hans Sprohge and Larry Kreiser

Zero emission credits (ZECs) are subsidies only to ageing nuclear power plants unable to compete in the marketplace due to low natural gas prices. State legislatures in Illinois and New York have approved up to $10 billion in ZECs subsidies over the next decade. Lawmakers contemplating enacting ZECs for ageing nuclear power plants unable to compete in the marketplace face contradictory information. Lawmakers cannot rely on contradictory conclusions when deciding on whether to enact ZECs. What lawmakers need to consider are the risks that enacting ZECs may exacerbate, by extending the operating life of nuclear power plants, nuclear meltdowns, cyberattacks, and terrorist attacks on nuclear waste. In light of these risks, extending the life of ageing nuclear power plants by enacting ZECs is irresponsible and shortsighted.

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Edited by Mona Hymel, Larry Kreiser, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor

Although the world faces many environmental challenges, climate change continues to demand attention. This timely book explores ways in which market-based instruments and complementary policies can help countries meet their climate change goals. The chapters explore carbon pricing and other tax and non-tax measures, offering useful market-based perspectives that can help inform the many climate policy decisions that lie ahead.