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EU nations this week made little headway in matching the pace of the bloc’s parliament by forging a common view on post-2020 ETS reforms, cutting the odds that environment ministers will sign off on a position at the end of this month.
As the Australian climate debate implodes in a clean coal versus renewables ruckus, the opposition Labor party appears to have softened its pro-renewables stance but on Thursday reaffirmed its intention to put in place an emissions intensity-based trading scheme for power generators.
The EU Parliament has defied efforts by Greek MEPs to ensure ETS cash won’t help build or modernise coal-fired power plants in the country, but environmental campaigners still expect Athens to try an alternative route.
EU carbon prices dropped below €5 on Thursday after a weak auction, as trade continued to be thin despite Wednesday’s EU Parliament ETS reform vote adding a degree of certainty to the market.
There were 14 roll-call votes as MEPs considered post-2020 reforms to the EU ETS at bill’s first reading on Feb. 15. Herein is a summary of how lawmakers voted on each amendment and the entire package.
Tom Cole, the operations manager at Cheakamus Community Forest, has a mental list of what he calls “Tom’s magic spots” – hidden-away gems he’s gotten to know over 30 years of exploring these British Columbia woods. One is a little lake that acts as an “absolute mirror”; he swears that “you can’t tell if you’re looking at the lake or looking at reality.”
**Argus Emissions Markets 2017: Prague, Feb. 28-Mar.2 – Join Ian Duncan, Rapporteur of the EU ETS and MEP, the European Commission, CEZ, Commerzbank, BP, SinoCarbon and other industry leaders, compliance buyers, global experts, regulators and market facilitators in a discussion on the development of emissions trading systems and climate finance. Visit the website**
** Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2017: San Francisco, Apr. 19-21 – NACW brings together the most active and influential players in North American climate policy and carbon markets to address the most pressing topics in domestic and international policy, subnational leadership, carbon markets, climate finance, and carbon management initiatives. Visit the website**
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Gone rogue – Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) will vote against President Trump’s nominee to lead the US EPA, The Hill reported. Collins is the only Senate Republican so far to come out against Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general who sued the EPA 14 times during former President Obama’s administration. Meanwhile, Democratic senators sent a letter to an Oklahoma judge yesterday urging her to release Pruitt’s email correspondence with the fossil fuel lobby and conservative groups, according to Climate Nexus, which cited various sources. The judge will hold an expedited hearing today in a lawsuit filed by the Center on Media and Democracy, which alleges Pruitt has repeatedly stymied public record requests for his correspondence over the past two years. Regardless, the GOP advanced Pruitt’s hearing on Thursday, with a vote expected Friday afternoon.
And finally… “Glassy-eyed cult” – The man tipped as frontrunner for the role of science advisor to Donald Trump has described climate scientists as “a glassy-eyed cult” in the throes of a form of collective madness in an interview with the Guardian. William Happer, a particle physicist at Princeton University and notoriously out-spoken climate sceptic who believes pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere would be beneficial, met Trump last month to discuss the post and says that if he were offered the job he would take it. Happer also supports a controversial crackdown on the freedom of federal agency scientists to speak out about their findings, arguing that mixed messages on issues such as whether butter or margarine is healthier, have led to people disregarding all public health information. (Carbon Brief)
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