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European lawmakers will this week propose to limit the effects of a Brexit on the EU ETS, in a move that threatens to severely damage trade in the bloc’s multi-billion euro carbon market.
European carbon prices fell for the first time in more than a week after hitting a fresh 19-month high amid choppy trade, as a controversial proposal to Brexit-proof the EU ETS appeared to knock the market’s confidence.
South Korea will hand the chief responsibility for its emissions trading scheme back to the Ministry of Environment (MoE), just 16 months after stripping the department of key ETS powers, a government official confirmed on Monday.
New Zealand carbon allowances on Monday rose 10 cents, climbing back towards their highest levels of 2017 seen earlier this month, as bullish sentiment lingers ahead of the general election.
Evolution Markets has hired a long-time US emissions broker to join its New York City office.
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Job listings this week:
Various Roles, Vertis Environmental Finance – Budapest/Brussels/Madrid
Coal & Oil Analyst, Axpo – Baden, Switzerland
Policy Manager, Low-Carbon Industries, Bellona Europe – Brussels
Junior Carbon Analyst/Trader, Virtuse – Bratislava
Senior Climate Change (Adaptation)/Urban Development Specialist, GEF – Washington DC
Chief Technical Advisor, UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme, UNDP – Hanoi
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
The big one – China, the world’s biggest vehicle market, is considering a ban on the production and sale of petrol and diesel cars. The move would mirror actions taken by France and Britain, which are outlawing the sale of fossil fuel cars and vans from 2040 in an effort to cut emissions. Xin Guobin, vice-minister of industry and information technology, told a forum in the northern city of Tianjin at the weekend that his ministry had started “relevant research” and was working on a timetable for China. Xin said the policy would be implemented “in the near future”, according to the Xinhua news agency. Meanwhile, China could this week unveil its mandatory cap-and-trade credit programme for electric cars, Bloomberg reports, quoting to the country’s state-backed auto association. Under the intiative, companies will be required to obtain a minimum new-energy vehicle credit score next year, derived from different weightings assigned to various types of zero- and low-emission vehicles. Companies that fail to meet the requirement face fines or have to buy credits from those that exceeded the minimum.
Cost blowout – Power from UK offshore windfarms is to be cheaper than electricity from new nuclear plants for the first time and well ahead of schedule, it was revealed today by the UK government. In the results of the country’s latest auction for subsidies, in which the lowest bidder wins, two companies said they were willing to build offshore wind farms for £57.50 per megawatt hour. (BBC)
Kiwi Climate Fund – While New Zealand’s opposition Labour party is campaigning on a stronger ETS, both its potential coalition partners are in favour of ditching the scheme and replacing it with a carbon tax. The Greens this weekend presented their plan for a Kiwi Climate Find, where polluters pay NZ$40/tCO2 into the fund and anyone planting trees would receive the same amount per tonne of CO2 they save. Farmers would pay NZ$6 per tonne of nitrous oxide and NZ$3 per tonne of methane. Any surplus revenue from the fund would be paid out as annual dividends to NZ citizens older than 18, estimated at NZ$250/year from 2020. (NZ Herald)
Serb curbs – Serbia’s power utility EPS and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems have signed a €167m deal to help reduce emissions and meet EU standards at Serbia’s largest coal-fired power plant. The flue gas desulfurization project would be carried out in four out of six units of the 1,600NW Nikola Tesla A power plant complex. Supported by a loan from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the initiative is expected to be completed in 42 months, Reuters reports. The country is aiming to become a fully-fledged EU member state between 2020-2025, and as such it would be required to regulate emissions under the EU ETS and meet binding annual targets in non-ETS sectors, where cooperation between participating nations is envisaged.
Norway knife-edge – Norwegians voted on Monday on the second and final day of a knife-edge parliamentary election in which Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s center-right bloc and a center-left opposition are vying to rule Western Europe’s top oil and gas producer. Climate policy may figure highly as either main party is likely to depend on one or more small parties that want to impose limits on exploration in Arctic waters off the northern coast. Exit polls are due out late Monday. (Reuters)
Blockchain building – An association of Russian businesses today opened for a month-long presale of mitigation tokens ahead of a full offering of the environmental assets using decentralised blockchain technology on the sidelines of UN climate negotiations in Bonn. The Russian Carbon Fund claimed the first carbon credit transaction using blockchain in March as part of an effort to build a carbon trading hub in the country (read Carbon Pulse’s story)
Irma call – Devastation from Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean will sharpen the demands from small island nations that top fossil-fuel consumers help them cope with damage attributable to climate change, according to representatives of some of those countries. That will put island nations on a collision course with the US and other rich countries during the Bonn UN climate talks in November. (Reuters)
And finally… Pack it up, we’re moving – German utility Uniper may dismantle its power plants in Germany and reassemble them in Britain, its CFO Christopher Delbrueck told German media. Energy utilities are struggling with a German government decision to switch off nuclear power plants by 2022, in a market that is burdened by overcapacity and lacklustre profitability. The British market is less burdened with such oversupply, creating opportunities for Uniper including buying stakes in existing UK plants, Delbrueck said. “We need to do the maths on that carefully,” he added. (Reuters)
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