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No clear winner has emerged from Thursday’s UK election, leaving Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May attempting to form a new government and boosting the chances of a disorderly exit for UK emitters from the EU ETS that could shake carbon prices.
As many as 52.7 million offsets potentially issued every year in China are of dubious quality and could threaten the integrity of the nation’s fledgling emissions market if they are allowed in the national ETS, environmental campaigners warned on Friday.
This week’s quarterly RGGI auction cleared at $2.53/ton, the lowest level since late 2012, as prices in the north-eastern US carbon market continued to fall amid oversupply and uncertainty regarding the scheme’s future.
Canada should get rid of climate policies that aren’t cost-effective compared to carbon pricing -report
Canada’s federal and provincial governments should abandon some climate policies that don’t complement their carbon pricing measures, such as rebates for electric cars, because they are expensive for what they accomplish, according to a new report.
Prices in both major US carbon markets were stable this week as auctions in RGGI and Ontario, together with California’s ongoing legislative process to re-authorise the market post-2020 2020, focused the attention of participants.
British MEP Julie Girling plans to stay on as the European Parliament’s lead negotiator on post-2020 EU ETS reforms despite efforts by former rapporteur Ian Duncan to regain the post following Thursday’s UK election.
European carbon prices ended little changed in a quiet, range-bound session on Friday to finish the week with a 2.3% loss.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator issued just over 130,000 carbon credits this week, less than half the volume last week.
Below is a table of the closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week. All prices are in RMB, and volumes in tonnes of CO2e. Data sourced from local exchanges.
A table of Verified Emission Reduction (VER) prices and offered volumes, based on voluntary market data provided by CTX.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
French floor – French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing a line also pursued by his predecessor to persuade Germany to agree a joint minimum CO2 price of €30/tonne for power plants, Bloomberg reports from anonymous sources. One source said the initiative would also make sense for neighbouring Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Macron and his German counterpart Angela Merkel plan to hold a joint cabinet meeting over the summer, though Merkel will likely be preoccupied with a September election and may not want to pledge to raise energy prices during her campaign. Read Carbon Pulse’s story from Thursday on how a carbon price floor could be among a raft of climate policy initiatives to be proposed by Macron after a number of carbon pricing experts were appointed to advise him and his cabinet.
Not easy – The EU, China, Canada “and other important partners” must take on a leadership role in international climate policy, after the US announced that it would pull out of the Paris Agreement, according to Germany’s environment minister Barbara Hendricks. She has three wishes for the leaders’ communique of the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg: a clear commitment of the G20 to the Paris Agreement, a clear affirmation of the financial promises given by industrial nations and a clear commitment to implementing the individual national climate plans. She said this was not going to be easy for countries such as Saudi Arabia and Russia. (Tagesspiegel, Clean Energy Wire)
The return of social – US think-tank Resources for the Future is launching an initiative to update estimates of the “social cost of carbon” – a metric used by government agencies and businesses to analyse the cost-benefit of regulations that help to save CO2. The launch of the multi-year effort comes two months after a White House executive order disbanded an Obama-era interagency group on the issue and withdrew its estimates. According to Axios, RFF and other critics say President Trump’s approach, which instructs agencies to use a more limited methodology from 2003, is too narrow and low-balls the actual impact of emissions. While the current administration is not required to use RFF’s new social cost of carbon, it could be used by companies looking to carry on with their Paris Agreement efforts or by a future administration. Read Carbon Pulse’s piece on Trump’s social carbon cost roll-back efforts here.
Can we ask another favour? – Coal companies who once thought president Trump an ally in the search for next-generation technology are now looking to Congress to save them from the White House. In his first budget proposal to Congress, Trump shocked coal advocates by suggesting a steep cut to CCS research funding. In all, Trump floated a 77% cut, down to $31 million in fiscal year 2018. (Climate Home)
Cancelled – A further 133,200 CERs have been voluntarily cancelled since the end of May, including 49,200 credits from Indian hydro plants for use in the VCS programme. The IFC and IBRD also collectively retired 82,500 CERs from Indian and Rwandan projects to offset the international institutions’ carbon footprints for 2017, the UNFCCC website showed.
And finally… Of all things, why would you choose that? – Four Democratic senators sent a letter to US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos this week calling out her support of President Trump’s decision to pull out of Paris. The letter points out that DeVos has not commented “on any administration decisions or policies outside of the purview of the Department of Education” except for Paris, which she praised in a statement last week. The senators raised concerns over a Heartland Institute-funded campaign to distribute climate denier literature to every public school science teacher in the country, and questioned if DeVos or her staff had contact with the Heartland Institute on climate science issues. (Climate Nexus)
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