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South Korea on Friday proposed to increase the CO2 cap for its emissions trading scheme by 1-2% in 2018 compared to this year, while a decision on allocation levels for 2019 and 2020 was pushed to next year.
Australian state energy ministers on Friday voted in favour of letting the Energy Security Board (ESB) develop draft details of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) by next April, while ignoring other alternatives such as an emissions intensity trading scheme.
The Tianjin Climate Exchange, which hosts one of China’s pilot emissions trading schemes, is increasing its shares by 43.82% in the hope of attracting $11.8 million from a new investor to expand its registered capital and inject cash into its loss-making business, according to a tender published Friday.
A veteran Chinese climate negotiator has been promoted to one of five vice general secretaries of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and will be responsible for coordinating climate, trade and international cooperation issues.
A subsidiary of AGL, one of Australia’s biggest power generators and its biggest CO2 emitter, this week received nearly 100,000 carbon credits for emission cuts at eight different landfill sites.
Spanish utility Iberdrola has pledged to push ahead with plans to phase out its two remaining Spanish coal power facilities in the face of potential resistance from the government, a move that pits climate action against security of supply concerns.
European carbon prices gained further ground on Friday on the back of another strong auction result, hitting a two-week high and notching a 3.9% weekly rise.
Britain is recruiting a senior official to help steer the country’s climate policy on Brexit and the EU ETS over the next two years, a crucial period that could see the UK detach from the bloc’s market as it also exits the EU.
(Corrects Thursday’s story that indicated the link would be done in 2019)
Below is a table of the closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week. All prices are in RMB, and volumes in tonnes of CO2e. Data sourced from local exchanges.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
New energy – The EU on Friday published a list of priority energy infrastructure projects with an emphasis on improving power supplies, better integrating renewable sources and helping Ireland cope with Brexit. The list comprises 173 projects that will be entitled to accelerated planning permission as well as EU funding. It includes twice as many electricity as gas projects, according to Reuters. It is part of the European Commission’s drive to improve power and gas connections across the EU’s 28 member states by better distributing available supplies, bringing down prices and trying to minimise disruptions. Meanwhile in Britain, the opposition Labour party has said it would be worth paying “over the odds” to get a £1.3bn tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay built, BBC reports. Shadow Wales Office Minister Chris Ruane criticised the chancellor’s failure to give the go-ahead to the project in Wednesday’s Budget. A government commissioned independent review backed the scheme, which needs a subsidy for the electricity produced.
Not enough to kill – Maintaining the UK’s ‘total’ carbon price at current levels, as indicated by this week’s Autumn Budget, risks a substantial resurgence of coal generation in the early 2020s, according to analysis by Aurora. It says by then the current global glut of LNG will have been burned through, driving up gas prices, and recent restrictions on coal production in China will have eased, reducing coal prices. The firm’s central forecast suggests power generated from coal would almost double, from 17 TWh today to 32 TWh in the early 2020s, before unabated coal plants are currently scheduled to close in 2025. The total UK carbon price is made up of EUAs and the £18/tonne domestic carbon floor price, amounting to around £24-25. Aurora suggests a total price of around £40/tonne would be required to kill off coal in the UK energy mix. (The Energyist)
The price is wrong – The EU should introduce a price floor in the EU ETS because current allowance costs are too low to incentivise more investment in low-carbon technologies and threaten EU-wide and national climate goals, according to a new study. “The quick introduction of a price floor to the EU ETS would also make it more likely for Germany to reach its 2020 climate targets – which the country is about to miss if emissions do not fall sharply within the next two years”, according to a press release accompanying the report jointly published by the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), and the European Climate Foundation (ECF). (Clean Energy Wire)
And finally… Worth a thousand words – The Guardian carries a series of images of the UK from the 2016 book of photojournalist Ashley Cooper, documenting the effects of climate change over 13 years in more than 30 countries. The images include harbour walls being battered by waves, flooded fields and destroyed bridges. (Carbon Brief)
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