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A bill to re-authorize California’s cap-and-trade programme beyond 2020 is hanging in the balance, with absent Democrats and obstinate Republicans putting current efforts in peril.
A platform launched Monday aims to support and showcase companies voluntarily beefing up their climate information in financial reporting, while helping align with the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Taskforce on the issue.
Free EUA allocations being made to new or growing EU ETS emitters picked up significant pace during the first half of the year, according to European Commission data published late Monday.
EU carbon prices were little changed on Monday to hold to the previous week’s modest 1.5% rise, as observers leaned towards EUAs making further gains in the coming days.
Activity in the voluntary offset market has calmed in the last month and prices have stagnated slightly. With western corporates heading into the summer holiday season, activity is expected to remain lacklustre for the next six weeks.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Unintended findings? – Wind and solar power don’t pose a significant threat to the reliability of the US power grid, Energy Department staff members said in a draft report, contradicting statements by their leader Rick Perry. “The power system is more reliable today due to better planning, market discipline, and better operating rules and standards,” according to a July draft of the study obtained by Bloomberg. The findings – which are still under review by the department’s leadership – contrast with Perry’s arguments that baseload sources such as coal and nuclear power are jeopardized by Obama-era incentives for renewable energy, making the grid unreliable.
A way back? – French President Emmanuel Macron said US President Donald Trump may seek a solution over the next months for the fight against global warming, Bloomberg reports. “We’ve spoken in detail on what may allow him to return into the Paris accord,” Macron said in comments published Sunday in the newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche. “It’s important to maintain a dialogue” with the US about its potential comeback in multilateral actions for climate, he said. Separately, The Times reported that Macron believes that he may have persuaded Trump to reverse his decision. “Donald Trump listened to me. He understood the sense of my approach,” Macron added. (Bloomberg)
…or just lip service – Don’t your hopes up though, as Axios writes: “Trump is leaving the door open to re-negotiate a climate deal with passive and vague statements like that. But he’s not looking through the door, not talking about walking through it, and not talking to anyone on the other side of it. All signs today suggest he will never walk through the door.”
Kind of a big deal – The UK’s largest-listed asset manager has issued a stark warning about climate change, cautioned that rapid global temperature rise could potentially put trillions of pounds of investor’s cash at risk, the Financial Times reports. Schroders, which manages $520 billion for investors across the world, said its analysis of the biggest drivers of climate change, suggested global temperatures are poised to rise by 4C above pre-Industrial levels – twice the 2C limit agreed by global leaders at Paris in 2015. “Climate change will be one of the defining themes of the global economy, industries and financial markets in the years and decades ahead”, said Andy Howard, head of sustainable research at Schroders. (Carbon Brief)
Room to reduce – Mandatory CO2 standards for newly-registered trucks and buses in the EU could reduce emissions by about 25%, a study conducted by the Berlin-based International Council on Clean Transportation Europe (ICCT) has found. The study argues that there is “sufficient technological potential” to quickly introduce a demanding regulation for such vehicles, which account for about 25 percent of all emissions in Europe’s transport sector. The EU is the only major vehicle market without such mandatory standards in place, the ICCT says. (Clean Energy Wire)
Nunavut deferral – With an election this fall, the remote Canadian territory of Nunavut doesn’t have time to develop a carbon pricing plan by next year, the federal deadline for introducing a scheme. That’s according to Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson, who late last month said the territory should receive a deferral. Patterson cited the high cost of cutting GHGs in the northern region, which runs mainly on diesel. He said solar panels installed in capital Iqaluit bore an upfront cost of around $100,000 and save the city around $6,000 a year, but added that hydro presents a promising opportunity to replace diesel. In neighbouring Northwest Territories, 76% of electricity comes from hydroelectric power, while in Yukon, it’s 95%. Nunavut has signed on to a national commitment that aims to have the country powered by 90% clean energy by 2030. (Nunatsiaq)
And finally… Mr. Smith goes to Greenland – US Congressman Lamar Smith, one of the most vocal critics of climate science in Congress, led a secret trip to the Arctic in May, BuzzFeed News reported. The Texas Republican and at least eight other US representatives, mostly members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, met with scientists working on the frontlines of climate change. As chair of the science committee for the past four years, Smith has waged a public war with federal climate scientists, challenging their research and integrity, repeatedly subpoenaing their emails, and voting to gut their funding. Billed as an oversight visit for the science committee, the May 8-14 trip included a series of closed-door sessions for the politicians to inspect facilities and learn about federally-funded science conducted at research hot spots in the Arctic Circle, as well as social events for the lawmakers and their families. No one publicised the visit, and some scientists told BuzzFeed News they were instructed not to talk about it. Smith’s team has since declined to comment on the trip or his impressions of Arctic research.
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