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The New Zealand Productivity Commission on Wednesday released the issues paper for an inquiry into the nation’s low-carbon transition, asking questions about potential improvements to the emissions trading scheme in a parallel move to the government’s ongoing ETS review.
Japanese firms are increasingly re-entering the carbon offset market to help achieve sustainability goals, according to local media.
Coal-fired power plants and cement manufacturers are set to be regulated when China’s Fujian province later this year rolls out one of four planned pilot energy consumption permit trading schemes.
Three forest projects collected almost 763,000 offsets in the latest California issuance, while two Quebec landfill gas facilities received just shy of 10,000 units.
California’s carbon market regulators published this year’s allowance allocation on Wednesday, revealing a near 7% drop in the number of covered entities but a rise in the average allotted per installation.
Hawaii has launched a tender in its search for a partner firm to help it generate voluntary carbon offsets through a reforestation and land recovery project.
German utility E.ON, which operates mainly nuclear plant and renewable energy facilities, reported that it had decreased its H1 European renewable and German nuclear power generation by 14.9% to 18.3 TWh year-on-year.
EU carbon prices rose 1.9% on Wednesday after the UK’s auction attracted the biggest premium for a week, bolstering confidence that demand will continue to prop up EUAs over the quiet summer period.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Mixed messages – The US is not trying to re-write or re-negotiate the text of the Paris Agreement or begin talks on a new accord, according to a US diplomatic cable published by Reuters. The Aug. 4-dated briefing note from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to embassies around the world clears up one of the lingering uncertainties around the US position, Carbon Home reports. Envoys have been instructed to quash speculation the US wants to re-open a hard-fought international consensus on tackling climate change. If asked, for example, “what is the process for consideration of re-engagement in the Paris Agreement?”, the answer should be vague: “We are considering a number of factors. I do not have any information to share on the nature or timing of the process,” the cable advises. The US will continue to take part in UN climate talks, it adds, starting with COP23 in Bonn this November. This is to “protect interests and ensure that decisions are not taken that would prejudice our future policy”. Instead of “renegotiation”, the language has shifted to “potential re-engagement” with the agreement “under more favorable terms” in future.
No floor – Germany’s incumbent centre-right CDU party will not agree to a minimum CO2 price as part of a coalition deal following September’s national election, according to the energy policy spokesman Joachim Pfeiffer, Montel reports. Only the Green party backs such a move, with the centre-left SPD indicating the government should open discussions on the issue should post-2020 EU-wide reforms fail to achieve prices capable of helping Germany meet its long-term emission goals.
60 more days – The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit yesterday agreed to hold Clean Power Plan litigation in abeyance for an additional 60 days, but the US Environmental Protection Agency must file monthly updates, Utility Dive reports. The order, joined by the 10-judge en banc panel that heard the case last September, also includes a reminder for the federal government: that EPA has an “affirmative statutory obligation to regulate greenhouse gases” under the Clean Air Act and cannot delay the rule’s implementation indefinitely. In April, the court granted an initial delay in the litigation as the White House reviews the rule and considers how to replace it.
India & Kyoto 2 – India has ratified the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, agencies PTI and DNA reported Wednesday, taking the number of countries that have done so to 80. Negotiated in Doha in 2012, Kyoto 2 has taken a backseat role to the Paris Agreement, but India remains vocal in the need for developed countries to step up mitigation and funding efforts pre-2020.
Ready for modelling – Energy Innovation LLC, World Resources Institute Indonesia, Open Climate Network, and the Indonesia’s Institute for Essential Services Reform have developed a tool to help Indonesia design the policies it needs to meet its Paris obligations. For a deep dive into the process, take a look at this paper explaining it.
A good week – Carbon trading platform CBL Markets recorded a record week on its North American spot CO2 markets, handing volume of 117,000 across 26 trades since July 31. The majority were RGGI Allowances, it said. The bourse operator also on Wednesday announced its first ever trade in spot US Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) contracts. The first contract was a Connecticut Class 1 RECs Vintage 2017 Spot Product in the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL) Market, traded at $20. “Following the successful launch of NEPOOL RECs, CBL plans to enable market participants to trade PJM RECs through its integrated electronic exchange platform.”
And finally… What’s made of sugar, can carry 4 people, and travels at up to 50 mph? – A biodegradable car of course. Students in the Netherlands created a lightweight electric car from resin derived from sugar beets and covered with sheets of Dutch-grown flax. (Reuters)
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