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The changes proposed to New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme on Wednesday are likely to offer market confidence in the scheme’s design but will do little to move prices in the short or medium term, experts say.
Several of China’s eight regional pilot carbon markets are moving forward with 2017 allocation plans that include sectors expected to be brought into the national ETS later this year.
Prices for California Carbon Allowances could increase nearly fivefold by 2030 under new rules that will emerge after the state legislature last week approved a law extending the cap-and-trade scheme to 2030, according to analysts.
California’s Air Resources Board this week issued 337,100 offsets from a combination of livestock and ODS projects, while Quebec handed out 10,900 new credits.
Sweden failed in its bid to force Brussels to do more to promote lower-carbon steelmaking on Wednesday after the EU’s highest court ruled against a challenge over how EU ETS allowances are allocated.
ETS-regulated thermal output doubled at Spanish utility Endesa during the first half of 2017, with gas output trebling to match an EUA demand-increasing pattern among other generators as hydro levels have plummeted.
European carbon prices rose for a third day on Wednesday, but the auction-fuelled gains were capped by technical resistance below €5.30.
Czechia has been given the go-head by the European Commission to hand out 11.68 million free EUAs to its utilities for 2017, making it once again one of the first countries to complete its annual allocation under Article 10c of the ETS Directive.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
UK car ban – The UK plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the country from 2040 as part of revised air quality plans that environmentalists have repeatedly slammed for their inadequacy, the BBC reports. The date matches that announced by France but is five years later than that recommended by advisors the Climate Change Committee, and 15 years later than Norway’s 2025 deadline. Britain’s plans show that the combustion engine “is dying” and the national German diesel summit next week “already seems like a sad alumni reunion”, writes Greenpeace in a commentary.
German gas demand – Germany’s consumption of natural gas continued to rise in the first half of 2017, the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) said. Since January, Germans burned the equivalent of 516 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), 3% more than over the same period last year, BDEW says. This is remarkable, since natural gas consumption had already risen by 11% in the first half 2016, it added. The association says that besides the weather, the increased use of combined-heat-and-power (CHP) systems was mainly responsible for the surge in consumption. Germany’s total power consumption rose by 1.6% compared to the first half of 2016, which BDEW said was partly due to the country’s sustained economic growth. (Clean Energy Wire)
A list of options, not a plan – Ireland will miss its 2020 emissions reduction goal by a “substantial margin”, according to the Climate Change Advisory Council, because the government’s new National Mitigation Plan lacks ambition and is effectively a list of options rather than a strategy with a framework. “We would like more progress,” said Council chair Professor John Fitzgerald. “Things are going in the wrong direction. We need major policy initiatives if we are to meet our targets. We are not progressing with 2020 targets. It’s true we can buy our way out of our 2020 targets by buying credits, but the longer we take for action the more expensive it may be. The loopholes may not be sensible.” The Council added that missing the 2020 targets will affect the country’s ability to meet its 2030 goal. (The Independent)
Contest the best – MIT’s crowdsourcing platform Climate CoLab is seeking proposals on addressing global climate change, with seven contests currently open on a variety of climate-related sub-themes such as energy supplies, land-use change, carbon pricing, adaptation, transportation, shifting behaviours. Proposals are due Sep. 10 though submit sooner to obtain valuable feedback from issue-experts and the community. Winners are eligible for the $10,000 grand prize.
And finally… Perry and the Russian Jerky Boys – US Energy Secretary Rick Perry optimistically discussed the Paris Agreement, expanding American coal exports to Ukraine, and other energy matters during a lengthy phone call this month with a Russian prankster who Perry thought was Ukraine’s prime minister. Perry actually was talking with comedians dubbed the “Jerky Boys of Russia” and known for targeting celebrities and politicians with audacious stunts, Reuters reported. During the 22-minute call on July 19, Perry discussed a range of topics in a business-like tone, including sanctions against Russia and helping Ukraine develop oil and gas. Listen to the call here
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