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While China is still expected to formally launch its national CO2 emissions trading scheme in November, it is looking increasingly likely that an emissions cap and compliance obligations will only come into play next year, according to sources.
Stakeholders on Thursday outlined several creative alternatives to Alberta’s proposed carbon credit usage limits, restrictions they warn will erode clean investment and cause the Canadian province’s CO2 market to “collapse”.
California carbon prices slipped further this week as the summer holiday season reached its peak and traders prepared for next week’s auction.
New Zealand emitters increased the use of forestry permits for compliance by 50% in 2016 while the surrendering of mostly freely allocated units dropped by a third, government data showed Thursday.
Chinese aluminium smelters say the government’s plan to use one uniform benchmark for the sector to allocate CO2 permits under the national emissions trading scheme is unfair and favours some regions over others.
A rural bank in China’s Guangdong province has agreed a loan to a small, privately-owned cement company using carbon permits as collateral, one of the first small lenders to pick up on government encouragement to make use of the nation’s emerging environmental commodity markets.
EU carbon prices rose to their highest for three weeks on Thursday after another strong auction bolstered sentiment, but later fell back as rising coal prices hurt utility margins.
Danish utility Dong Energy reported a 15% rise in its H1 bioenergy and thermal power generation, though any EUA demand increase may have been limited as it strives to convert more of its output towards burning wood.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Bye Brad – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall – one of the fiercest critics of the Canadian federal government’s national carbon pricing plan – is retiring from provincial politics, he announced Thursday, but will stay on as premier until a new one is chosen. Wall has been premier for nearly 10 years. The Saskatchewan Party took office in Nov. 2007, and Wall consistently polled as the most popular premier in the country. It remains to be seen whether the province will continue its opposition and legal challenge to Ottawa’s Pan-Canadian carbon pricing framework. (CTV)
Another blow – A US federal appellate court has placed litigation over the Obama-era GHG standards for new and modified power plants – the legal prerequisite for the Clean Power Plan (CPP) for existing sources – on indefinite hold, just days after the court extended for 60 days its prior order placing litigation over the CPP into abeyance, InsideEPA reports ($). The result, though not unexpected, is a blow to environmentalists and other CPP supporters, given that it largely seals the fate of the so-called NSPS.
Don’t rush us – Germam steelmaker Thyssenkrupp will not be rushed into any deal with India’s Tata Steel to merge their European steel businesses, its CFO said during Q3 results, pouring cold water on investor hopes for a quick tie-up. If successful, the talks, already a year old, would result in one of the biggest emitters in the EU ETS. (Reuters)
Internal pricing – On Sep. 21, the Boston Green Ribbon Commission and Boston University will host a panel discussion on Internal Carbon Pricing featuring Microsoft’s Liz Willmott, Yale’s Casey Pickett, BU’s Kenneth Pucker, ProPublica’s Andrew Revkin will moderate. Click here for further details and to register to attend in person. It will be webstreamed live on www.bu.edu/pardee and on www.bu.edu/climateactionplan.
And finally… A matter of national security – West Virginia governor Jim Justice told reporters Wednesday that he has asked the federal government for $4.5 billion a year in funding to save eastern US coal mines, Grist reports. Justice, who publicly switched party affiliations from Democrat to Republican last week at a Trump rally, said he has recently spent a “goodly amount of time” meeting one-on-one with the president. The governor claims Trump is particularly interested in a proposal to have the Department of Homeland Security pay power plants $15 for each ton of eastern coal burned – effectively amounting to a negative carbon price. Justice says the plan is not a bailout, but rather that Eastern coal use is a matter of national security. (Climate Nexus)
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