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Industry groups are begging politicians to consider seriously a proposal expected by chief scientist Alan Finkel on Friday to set a low emissions target (LET) that would establish a traded market for clean energy credits, the closest Australia might come to putting a price on carbon.
France will soon announce a list of new climate policy actions, which could include a carbon floor price, as the country seeks to go beyond its international commitments in the wake of US President Trump’s decision last week to ditch the Paris Agreement.
EU carbon prices attempted to claw back two days of losses on Thursday after a strong EU auction and a late buying surge.
President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement leaves major questions over whether and how the US might influence international climate change negotiations over the next four years, former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres told reporters in Beijing on Thursday.
All 37,600 forest carbon offsets auctioned in Guangdong on Thursday were sold at prices higher than the secondary market, the China Emissions Exchange said.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Paris in the streets, climate denial in the sheets – 15 business leaders try to have it both ways. (HuffPost via Climate Nexus)
But how do you really feel, Kim? – North Korea on Tuesday criticised President Trump’s decision to pull the US out Paris, with Pyongyang in a statement saying that the decision represented “the height of egoism and moral vacuum seeking only their own well-being, even at the cost of the entire planet,” CNN reported. “The selfish act of the US does not only have grave consequences for the international efforts to protect the environment but poses great danger to other areas as well,” a spokesman for the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, according to state news agency KCNA.
Not half bad – Blustery start to summer has helped the renewable energy industry to its highest ever output as wind turbines and solar panels help to meet more than half of the UK’s electricity demand, the Telegraph reports. National Grid’s data at lunchtime on Wednesday showed that solar panels produced around 7.6 W of electricity while wind farms generated 9.5 GW of power. In addition, the UK burnt 2 GW of renewable biomass, made from waste wood, and produced a modest amount of hydro electricity to help squeeze traditional power plants off the system. The record 19.3 GW output of renewable energy was enough to meet more than 50% of midday power demand which reached 35.4 GW.
Cleantech drain – President Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement could exacerbate a decline in the development of clean energy technology in the country. Venture capital investment in clean energy projects has declined in recent years, with the number of deals in “cleantech” falling from 412 in 2011 to 267 in 2016, according to the National Venture Capital Association. In that same timespan, venture capital investments in cleantech fell from around $5 billion to roughly $2.5 billion annually. Experts say that trend could accelerate now that the United States is pulling out of the Paris accord. (The Hill)
Hands off, pal – Green groups are protesting new legislation from New York’s state Senate that would raid tens of millions of dollars from the state’s RGGI account to fund annual subsidies to nuclear power plants, instead of using those funds to catalyse New York’s transition to a clean energy economy. “This S. 6605 bill is a significant threat to New York’s clean energy future and position as a climate leader, and should be rejected in no uncertain terms,” said NRDC. The state’s zero emissions credit, or “ZEC,” program to subsidize certain nuclear facilities was adopted as part of the state’s broader Clean Energy Standard; as structured, the costs of the ZEC program are recovered from customers in the same manner as other electric system costs. “While NRDC did not support the ZEC program, we do support states’ legal authority to adopt and implement such programs,” the group added.
Fox guarding the henhouse – Jeffrey Bossert Clark, a lawyer who has repeatedly challenged the scientific foundations of US climate policy and was part of a legal team that represented BP in lawsuits stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, was nominated by President Trump on Tuesday to serve as the Justice Department’s top environmental lawyer, InsideClimate News reports. Clark, a partner in the Washington DC office of Kirkland & Ellis, has represented the US Chamber of Commerce in lawsuits challenging the federal government’s authority to regulate carbon emissions. In court, he has repeatedly argued that it is inappropriate to base government policymaking on the scientific consensus presented by the IPCC. “When did America risk coming to be ruled by foreign scientists and apparatchiks at the United Nations?” Clark demanded in a 2010 blog posting on the EPA’s endangerment finding, which he has helped challenged in court several times.
California-China ties – The US state of California and China’s Tsinghua University will establish a US-China Climate Change Institute to cooperate on technology and research including CCS but also climate policies and strategies. (Reuters)
And finally… Bienvenue! – The French presidency has launched a website to lure international scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to France. makeourplanetgreatagain.fr went live just a week after President Emmanuel Macron’s speech that criticised Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement. It allows teachers, businessmen and NGOs to find the relevant contact details to help them settle in France. (Reuters)
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