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After months of focus on the Californian Assembly as the route for extending the state’s carbon market beyond 2020, attention is now pivoting to Governor Jerry Brown and the budget trailer bill as the main hope for the future of the scheme, though support for a separate, controversial Senate bill is also said to be growing.
Ontario is holding its second cap-and-trade auction on Tuesday, with analysts predicting that all 25.3 million vintage 2017 allowances will once again be bought.
A spokesman for Australia’s opposition Labor party on Tuesday said he would be open to discussing a low emissions target (LET), which is increasingly emerging as a potential bipartisan climate compromise for the country after more than a decade of polarised debate.
New Zealand carbon allowances fell further on Tuesday as emitters see little reason to buy with a year until the next compliance deadline and with the ETS review results and general elections upcoming.
EU carbon prices dropped below €5 on Tuesday to reach their lowest level since May 25, giving back recent gains.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
We’re still in – At least a dozen states and a slew of cities have joined the US Climate Alliance, signalling that they are committing to the Paris Agreement despite President Trump’s decision last week to withdraw the US from the pact. The 12 states collectively represented just under a fifth of US emissions in 2014. At least seven more states plus Washington DC are said to be considering joining, while major cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia have also indicated that they will do their part. In total, over 1,200 governors, mayors, businesses, attorneys general, investors, and colleges and universities in an open letter yesterday declared their support for Paris and their intent to continue to ensure the US remains a global leader in reducing GHG emissions. The group, which represents $6.2 trillion of the US economy and 120 million Americans, is the broadest cross section of the American economy yet assembled in pursuit of climate action. Signatories include 125 cities, 183 colleges and universities, and 902 investors and businesses, including giants like Apple, eBay, Gap, Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Nike. In tandem with the effort, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg submitted a letter to the UNFCCC saying he will “work with US subnational and non-state actors over the coming months” to quantify the amount of emissions reductions they could offer under Paris. (Climate Nexus)
Survey says – A majority of Americans oppose Trump’s decision to exit the Paris Agreement, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, which found that 59% of respondents opposed the move compared to 28% who support it. Meanwhile, 42% think the move will hurt the US economy, 32% think it will help, and 20% say it will “make no difference.” And 55% said the president’s decision will hurt US global leadership, 23% expect no impact, and 18% said it will help. (The Hill)
Beware the mischief – William Reilly, who led the EPA under President George H.W. Bush, says he fears Trump can further damage the Paris Agreement as he exits the pact. In his latest podcast for the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy, Reilly says he believes the US should not send delegations to annual UN climate meetings during the multi-year withdrawal process because there are still decisions to be made about implementation and future, and the US “could make mischief” on decisions that rest on consensus. “I think that the worst possible outcome here is to announce an intended withdrawal from the agreement, but to continue to participate in the deliberations of the parties,” he added. (Axios)
Brown’s in town – California Governor Jerry Brown signed a deal with China during his visit to the country this week that will see the two cooperate on clean technology, emissions trading and other “climate-positive” efforts, Reuters reports. The government of California and China’s Ministry of Science and Technology will work together to develop and commercialize know-how on carbon capture and storage, clean energy, and information technology to rein in GHGs, according to a statement. However, in terms of a potential cap-and-trade linkage, China’s priority is to focus on its own carbon market “which is big enough and complex enough”, Ma Aimin of the National Centre for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation told an energy forum.
Zero in 60 – Global emissions can be pushed down to “net zero” by 2060 to meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, says the International Energy Agency (IEA). For the first time, the group’s annual Energy Technology Perspectives report maps a “below 2C” scenario, roughly in line with Paris. The “well below 2C” aim is “technically feasible” and the past three years of stalled emissions favourable, the IEA says, but the gap compared to current action is “immense” and the challenge “formidable”. Carbon Brief runs through what is needed to change course. This includes the early closure of most of the world’s coal fleet, incurring losses of up to $8.3 trillion by 2060.
Slam on the brakes – Germany must immediately and drastically reduce emissions in the transport sector to meet the goals of both the Paris Climate Agreement and Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050, according to an analysis by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). The UBA makes several policy proposals to reach the targets, including: stricter efficiency standards for new cars, an e-car quota, abolishing climate-harmful subsidies, and introducing a toll based on distance driven. (Clean Energy Wire)
As the US steps down, Russia steps up? – The German and Russian governments agreed to deepen their cooperation in the areas of environment and climate protection, it was announced after consultations in St. Petersburg. “Especially now that the US announced their exit from the Paris Agreement, it’s an important signal that Russia wants to expand the cooperation in this field. The projects that were agreed upon between our countries are a valuable contribution,” said state secretary in the environment ministry (BMUB) Jochen Flasbarth in a statement in German. (Clean Energy Wire)
Blowin’ away – Germany, Denmark and Belgium joined with 25 companies on Tuesday to back a pledge to increase Europe’s offshore wind capacity almost fivefold in the next decade. The joint declaration, signed by energy ministers for the three countries and firms including Dong Energy and Siemens Gamesa, said the countries and companies would work together to deliver 60 GW or at least 4 GW a year of offshore wind capacity in Europe in the 2020s. (Reuters)
Growin’ away – EU-funded projects on climate-smart agriculture and forestry are helping turn policy goals into concrete action and could be further scaled up to enhance impacts. That’s according to a June 1 workshop organised by the European Commission and the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). The workshop showcased 17 examples of climate-friendly agriculture and forestry projects funded by the EU’s LIFE and Horizon 2020 programmes. In Greece and Spain, tree crop producers are working on increasing the carbon intake of orange and olive trees, while in France, Ireland, Italy and Spain, 2,000 beef farms are working together with livestock institutes to reduce their carbon footprint by 15%. And projects in Latvia and the Netherlands presented remarkable examples of peatland restoration and voluntary carbon markets.
More suing – A group of six environmental groups filed suit against the US EPA on Monday over its suspension of Obama-era methane regulations. In the filing, the coalition including the Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club and the National Resources Defense Council, petitioned the DC US Court of Appeals for a review of the EPA’s decision to freeze key parts of the rule. The original regulation was set to go into effect Saturday, and would have required oil and gas producers to monitor and fix methane leaks at pumps. “In its haste to do favors for its polluter cronies, the Trump EPA has broken the law,” senior NRDC attorney Meleah Geertsma said in a statement. In fact, according to Fusion, lawsuits are challenging almost all of the Trump Administration’s environmental measures. (Climate Nexus)
Meanwhile in Australia – India’s Adani Group has decided to construct a multibillion dollar coal mine in Australia, the Financial Times reports, which will be one of the largest new coal developments in recent years. The decision follows a protracted legal battle amid protests, including over public subsidies being offered to the Carmichael coal, rail and port project.
Constricting coal consumption – Power plants in the US consumed 677 million short tons of coal last year, the smallest amount since 1984, according to new analysis from the US Energy Information Administration. Coal consumption last year was 35% lower than in 2008, when production reached its highest level. (Utility Dive)
And finally… Cloudy with a chance of – According to Politico, during an outing at his Virginia golf club this weekend, President Trump was overheard talking about his decision to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement:
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) 5 June 2017
So the unreliability of his local weatherman was possibly a factor in his decision. We’ll just let that sink in with CP Daily readers.
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