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After weeks of negotiations, California lawmakers announced a deal to reauthorize the state’s carbon market post-2020 late on Monday, with a number of elements that had appeared in recent draft texts making it into the two final bills.
The European Parliament’s environment committee (ENVI) voted on Tuesday to extend the suspension of extra-European flights from the EU ETS but called for a 2019 review of the UN’s CORSIA scheme that could see those routes again regulated under the bloc’s carbon market.
Switzerland will raise its domestic carbon tax by 14% next year after its emissions from fossil fuels again missed the country’s annual reduction targets.
EUAs dipped on Tuesday after a weak auction and failed attempts to top €5.50, ending a three-day run that saw prices rally by more than 10% to their highest in four months.
The European Parliament environment committee (ENVI) on Tuesday adopted a slightly tougher position than Brussels on how the EU will account for land-use (LULUCF) in its climate goals after 2020.
South Korea has extended the construction period for two coal-fired power plant units, sowing doubt over new President Moon Jae-in’s intention to halt new coal plants while potentially adding tens of millions of tonnes of CO2 to the country’s emissions output.
Out of hundreds of installations, a single Shanghai company and six emitters in Fujian province missed recent compliance deadlines in the two regions’ pilot cap-and-trade programmes.
Steady demand for the limited supply available pushed New Zealand carbon allowances to a four-month high on Tuesday, as some buyers were willing to pay more for bigger clips.
RGGI will offer 14.4 million spot allowances in its next auction on Sep. 6, the market’s operators said Tuesday, as prices in the scheme continue to climb.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Investment fall – Global energy investment fell by 12% in 2016, the second consecutive year of decline, as increased spending on energy efficiency and electricity networks was more than offset by a continued drop in upstream oil and gas spending, according to the IEA’s annual World Energy Investment report.
Global energy investment amounted to $1.7 trillion in 2016, or 2.2% of global GDP. For the first time, spending on the electricity sector around the world exceeded the combined spending on oil, gas and coal supply, while the share of clean-energy spending reached 43% of total supply investment, a record high. China, the world’s largest energy investor, saw a 25% decline in coal-fired power investment last year and is increasingly driven by clean electricity generation and networks, as well as energy efficiency investment. The US saw a sharp decline in oil and gas investment, and accounted for 16% of global spending. India was the fastest-growing major energy investment market, with spending up 7% thanks to a strong government push to modernize and expand the power sector.
Bank buddies – Eleven major banks including Barclays, Citigroup and UBS said they’ll seek ways to address the financial risks of global warming, after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney urged investors to act on the threat. Bloomberg reports that the group, representing more than $7 trillion, started a pilot project to implement the recommendations of a taskforce set up by Carney to increase financial reporting standards on issues related to the environment.
Aussie car tax? – Australia’s Turnbull government is reportedly considering introducing a carbon tax on cars to help the country meet its Paris Agreement targets. According to The Australian, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development’s vehicle emissions team on Monday wrote to car distributors outlining the proposal, which could see a levy imposed on some of the country’s most popular but most fuel-consuming vehicles.
No link – China has not made any efforts to coordinate its soon-to-be-launched emissions trading scheme and renewable energy credit markets, and won’t do so unless it is needed to avoid double-counting of carbon offsets and RECs, an official with the National Energy Administration said Tuesday. The REC market and a raft of other planned environmental markets risk diluting the value of offsets so long as the government stays silent on how these policies will be coordinated, according to observers.
Zero by 2050 – Queensland, Australia’s biggest-emitting state, on Tuesday published a climate plan that will bring its carbon emissions to zero by mid-century. The state government also set a target of cutting emissions 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, slightly more ambitious than the federal goal of 26-28%. The state won’t launch any market mechanisms on its own, but last December launched the A$8.4m Queensland Carbon Plus Fund to help indigenous communities develop land-based projects to earn carbon credits.
Sunny days in Chernobyl – Ukraine is talking to Engie, one of France’s largest energy companies about building a giant €1 billion solar park in the uninhabited radioactive zone surrounding the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear reactor. Engie is beginning a pre-feasibility study funded by the French government next week with the results expected for the end of the year, Ukraine’s minister of ecology, Ostap Semerak, told Bloomberg in an interview. A spokesman at Engie confirmed that the company is in discussions with the Ukrainian government but declined to comment on the project size. The utility is one of 60 companies that have expressed interest, according to Semerak.
Milestone – The Climate Group’s RE100 initiative has today reached its 100-member milestone as AkzoNobel, AXA, Burberry and Carlsberg joined with a commitment to 100% renewable power. RE100 is delivered with CDP to engage, support and showcase large, influential businesses transitioning to 100% renewable electricity across their global operations. RE100 members, including 30 Global Fortune 500 companies, have a total revenue of $2.5 trillion and operate in a diverse range of sectors, from Information Technology to automobile manufacturing. “Together, they are creating around 146 terawatt-hours (TWh) in demand for renewable electricity annually – about as much as it takes to power Poland.”
Complementary tax – The German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) will present a proposal to put a tax on the use of fossil fuels in power generation, which would complement the EU ETS, Handelsblatt reports. A study by consultancy Energy Brainpool, commissioned by BEE, showed that a tax of €20 per tonne of CO2 would lower the renewables surcharge (EEG-surcharge) and result in “considerable additional emission reductions”, because coal-fired power production would decrease. (Clean Energy Wire)
New fund – SUSI Partners and South Pole Group have joined forces to launch an infrastructure fund dedicated exclusively to the Southeast Asian energy transition market. The Asian Energy Transition Fund (AETF) will combine SUSI’s core competencies in the financing and structuring of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects with South Pole Group’s track record of over 500 sustainable energy projects and a close-knit network of project developers in Asia. Edgare Kerkwijk, a veteran of the renewable energy investment industry in Southeast Asia, will act as MD of the fund.
Survey says – The European Commission has launched a project to improve its emissions trading registry. It is conducting a survey over the next four weeks to Aug. 8, but it’s password-protected and open only to account holders – who should receive their passwords from the Commission by email.
And finally… Boiling the Frog – Former comedian and current US Senator Al Franken has teamed up with ex-latenight TV host David Letterman to produce a new digital series to make serious conversations about climate change a little funnier. The series, Boiling the Frog with Senator Al Franken, consists of six five-minute episodes. Check out the first episode here.
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