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This week’s quarterly RGGI allowance auction cleared at $4.35/short ton, the market’s operators said Friday, with the price coming slightly above expectations and rebounding from the previous sale’s 4.5-year low.
European carbon prices climbed to a 19-month high on Friday, as the current rally showed no signs of abating despite some market participants noting that its sheer scale doesn’t appear to be fully supported by fundamentals.
EU nations agreed an updated negotiating stance for the post-2020 ETS reform bill on Friday, a move that some sources expect will bring tangible progress when trilogue talks resume next week.
The New Zealand Labour party, which is pulling further ahead in election polls, said it would hand out almost all of agriculture’s carbon permits for free initially, likely dampening the impact of bringing the nation’s biggest-emitting sector into the ETS.
Carbon prices in the South Korean emissions trading scheme have not moved for over a month as a delay of its Phase 2 allocation plan is holding back risk-adverse traders.
Two landfill gas and waste treatment expert firms with a number of government delivery contracts received nearly all the carbon credits issued by Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator this week.
UK consultant Richard Folland of Climate and Energy Associates sets the scene for how the upcoming Brexit negotiations will impact the EU ETS.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
A table of Verified Emission Reduction (VER) prices and offered volumes, based on voluntary market data provided by CTX.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
UN cash clash – The US Senate Appropriations Committee has voted 16-14 to contribute $10m to the UNFCCC and science panel IPCC, teeing up a clash with its House counterpart that has not included the funding, The Hill reports. Two Republican senators backed the measure while West Virginian Democrat Joe Manchin opposed it. Senate Democrats were rebuffed in efforts to direct a further $750m towards the Green Climate Fund, according to BNA. The payments that the US has made annually since joining the convention in 1992 had been slated to be eliminated as part of President Trump’s call for an end to all UN climate funding.
Digging deep – The European Commission, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Switzerland and the UK are among those at the IPCC’s annual gathering in Montreal that have shown willingness to cover a shortfall in the body’s funding left by the US. The US has supplied nearly a third of the panel’s funding since its inception. (Climate Home)
Not even close – Australia’s electricity generation CO2 emissions fell in the past 12 months, mostly due to the closure of the Hazelwood coal-fired plant. But emissions in almost all other sectors rose, taking the country’s GHGs to their highest levels for several years. According to a new report by consultants Ndevr Environmental, Australia is now on track to emit some 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2e above its Paris target during the 2020s.
LCFS clash – Clean energy advocates are clashing with the oil industry over the California ARB’s draft changes for the post-2020 low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS), including staff’s preliminary proposal for fuel providers to reduce the overall carbon intensity (CI) of gasoline and diesel 18% by 2030, compared with 2020 levels. NextGen California, a clean energy advocacy group founded by billionaire philanthropist and major Democratic Party donor Tom Steyer, says ARB “should consider a higher CI target for the LCFS, including the 25% target evaluated in the draft scoping plan as well as at least one intermediate value.” The oil sector, on the other hand, says the LCFS should be abandoned and replaced with an incentive-based voluntary system, adding that California’s cap-and-trade programme can make up any projected LCFS CO2 reductions in the coming years at a much lower cost. The ARB currently requires fuel suppliers to reduce the CI of gasoline and diesel by 10% below 2010 levels by the end of 2020, and the agency’s draft scoping plan calls for an 18% reduction by 2030 to help meet the state’s 40% GHG cut target. (InsideEPA, $)
Airline offsetting is so misunderstood – With the rise in air travel demand forecast to outstrip fuel efficiency improvements, the aviation industry’s carbon neutral growth goals can likely only be achieved using carbon offsets. However, a new study ($) says there is considerable misunderstanding about offsetting and the difference between scientific and policy perspectives. Through their customer carbon offsetting schemes, airlines have already built partnerships with offset providers, but it is important they correctly communicate the climate change benefits, say researchers from Griffith University in Australia. A total of 139 airlines were analysed to investigate what information they provided on their role in carbon offsetting and whether the option was offered to their customers, with 44 airlines found to be actively involved. The researchers provide a number of best-practice principles to help airlines improve the reporting of their offsetting schemes. Read more about this from GreenAir Online.
Irma insensitivity – US EPA chief Scott Pruitt called discussion of climate change during Hurricane Irma “misplaced” in a Thursday interview with CNN. “To use time and effort to address [climate change] at this point is very, very insensitive to the people in Florida,” Pruitt said when asked about climate change during his phone interview. Reuters reported separately that Pruitt declined to say during an interview on Irma preparations whether he accepts the analysis of multiple climate scientists that the hurricane was strengthened by warming temperatures. (Climate Nexus)
And finally… Hurricane Ivanka? – Hurricane names are set years in advance, with the names alternating between male and female and running from A to Z. Hurricane Irma is about to make landfall in Florida, and while it has been downgraded to Category 4, it’s not looking good. In light of this, Almost 12,000 people have signed a petition asking for Irma to be re-named “Hurricane Ivanka” after President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter. Ivanka is accused in the petition of being “complicit in the destruction” the nation faces due to the Trump administration’s climate policy. By changing the name, the petition argues, the Trump administration will be pressured into taking a stand on preventing climate change and other future storms. While there’s about a 0% chance the name will be changed, Townhall.com reports that the petition has gotten some high-profile notice, including from actor George Takei, who said that it’d be wrong to call it Ivanka because she is “weak, powerless & ineffective.”
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