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The ongoing uncertainty about the Chinese national ETS launch has left the eight pilot schemes even more off keel than normal after their compliance rush ended over the summer months.
The UK may need to exploit loopholes including buying foreign carbon credits as it faces costly binding emission targets next decade, the government said Thursday in its long-awaited Clean Growth Strategy, which reaffirmed a commitment to carbon pricing but didn’t say whether it will push to remain in the EU ETS.
EU carbon prices reached their highest since mid-September on Thursday in nervous trade as potentially decisive ETS reform talks carried on past market close.
A steadily growing number of global companies apply an internal carbon price in decision-making with those based in East Asia and North America leading the way, according to an annual survey by non-profit CDP, although the majority of firms have yet to price their CO2 emissions.
New Zealand carbon allowances continue to edge up on a lack of willing sellers, recording modest gains for a tenth consecutive session on Thursday to hit their highest levels since Nov. 24 last year.
North American carbon markets endured an extremely quiet week, with normal business in California interrupted by an aborted conference and the RGGI market falling silent due to an apparent lack of interest.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Late nighter – Trilogue negotiations from the three EU institutions on post-2020 ETS reforms had yet to find a deal after 12 hours of talks in Brussels and were still in progress at 2am. Sources said the closed-door talks were only able to go on until 4am when several negotiators would need to head over to Luxembourg for the start of another busy day at the EU Environment Council.
It’s a miss – Germany’s environment ministry fears high emissions from coal-fired power plants and transport will make the country miss its 2020 climate targets by a wider margin than previously anticipated. The ministry’s warning adds further pressure to make fast progress on climate-related issues in upcoming talks aimed at forming a new government following September’s general elections. (Clean Energy Wire)
Fossil favour – Billions of dollars of public money was sunk in new fossil fuel projects by the world’s major development banks in the year after the Paris climate change deal was agreed, according to Oil Change International campaigners who are calling for the banks to halt their financing of coal, oil and gas. The new analysis also reveals that some of the taxpayers’ money given to coal and gas projects was counted as “climate” finance and found funding for fossil fuel projects from the six main international development banks totalled at least $5bn in 2016. (The Guardian)
Heritage hype – The US has refused to say whether its withdrawal from the UN cultural body UNESCO, citing Palestinian membership, sets a precedent that could lead to withdrawal from the UN Paris Agreement. Palestine was admitted as a full member to UNESCO in 2011 and joined the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2016. (Climate Home)
And finally … lighthouse family – 19 ‘lighthouse’ initiatives worldwide were announced as recipients of the UN’s ‘Momentum for Change’ Climate Solutions Award for stand-out climate action and will be showcased at next month’s UN talks in Bonn. The winners were across five categories: women, financing, ICT, health and climate neutral and including retailer Marks and Spencer, insurance firm Aviva and the Dubai police force for their carbon neutrality efforts.
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