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Ontario’s poll-leading Conservatives pledge to exit WCI, replace carbon market with federal tax plan
Ontario’s opposition Progressive Conservatives have pledged to replace the province’s cap-and-trade scheme with the federally-designed carbon tax option, which would see its Western Climate Initiative membership traded for consumer and business tax cuts.
Argentina has proposed a new $25/tonne carbon tax on its energy sector, targeting emissions from transport fuels, natural gas and coal, as well as the country’s burgeoning oil and shale gas industry.
The holiday-shortened week saw prices in California and RGGI decline marginally, as prices on the west coast settled back to their pre-auction levels and demand for RGGI allowances was modest as the current compliance period comes to an end.
Chinese trading firm Sovran has reached a deal to buy a NYSE-Euronext listed telecoms company, which it intends to use as a platform to trade carbon in the EU ETS and CORSIA aviation offset market.
South Korean carbon allowances took a 10% hit Monday after government officials on Friday revealed planned 2018 allocation levels and warned they would step in if recent record-high price levels persisted.
Air New Zealand is working with the NZ government to assess setting up a new fund to drive investment in forest planting that would cut greenhouse gas emissions and generate carbon units.
European carbon slipped on Monday after matching the two-week high of the previous session, though observers predicted little could force prices much lower this week.
The 27 member states auctioning EU Allowances on Germany’s EEX will sell 1% fewer units next year compared to this year, according to 2018 auction calendars published on Monday.
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Job listings this week:
- Policy Manager, Global Climate Action Summit, UN Foundation/California Governor’s Office – Sacramento
- Executive Director, Climate Change, Nova Scotia Government – Halifax
- Climate Change Experts, UNEP DTU Partnership – Copenhagen
- Head of Climate and Business Engagement, WWF Germany – Berlin
- Sales Manager – Climate Neutral & Green Energy, First Climate Markets – Bad Vilbel/Frankfurt, Germany
- Senior Research Scholar, International Energy & Climate Policy, Columbia University – New York
- Junior Climate Change and Sustainability Consultant, ICF – Washington DC
- Researcher, Climate Council – Sydney
- Senior Policy & Advocacy Adviser – Climate Change & Environment, UNICEF – London (Mat. cover)
- Intern – Consultancy & Services, South Pole Group – Zurich
Or click here to see all our job adverts
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
We’re still in – A State Department official has reaffirmed US support for the Montreal Protocol and its Kigali Amendment to phase out super-pollutant HFCs. Countries assembled in Montreal last week to celebrate Montreal’s 30th anniversary and mark the impending entry into force of Kigali. Politico reports that the US has also agreed to provide over $36.7 million annually to the Multilateral Fund that helps developing nations phase out HFCs, with all rich countries pledging to pay $540 million over three years. Major industry players, including chemical giant Honeywell, have backed domestic and international efforts by the US to roll back HFCs as they ramp up production on alternative coolants. (Climate Nexus)
Strategy session – Britain can escape its crisis in living standards by focusing investment on technology for developing clean energy and autonomous vehicles, the government said as it announced its first full industrial strategy in decades. It outlined four “grand challenges” that are viewed as key to reviving productivity growth across the economy: artificial intelligence, medical care for an ageing population, mobility including driver-less vehicles, and clean energy, with new battery technology will be prototyped in the Midlands. (Carbon Brief)
Dirty decision – A court in western Germany says an ancient forest near the Belgian border can be chopped down to make way for a lignite strip mine. Cologne’s administrative court ruled Friday against a legal complaint brought by the environmental group BUND that wanted to halt the clearance of much of the Hambach forest. The group said it would appeal the decision and seek an injunction to prevent energy company RWE from clearing the trees in the meantime. (AP)
Dirty probe – EU state aid regulators opened an investigation on Monday into Spain’s environmental incentives for coal power plants, concerned that the scheme may give the facilities an unfair advantage. Fourteen coal power plants have received more than €440 million for installing new sulphur oxide filters since the scheme was introduced in 2007, with the payments due to continue until 2020. Brussels said such incentives to reduce harmful emissions may not have been justified as coal power plants were already required by EU environmental laws to do so. (Reuters)
Going rogue – Plans for two experiments to potentially slow global warming through geoengineering, in this case by deploying tiny particles into the atmosphere, have sparked an international debate over whether such tests should be allowed without government scrutiny. The experiments are being planned by scientists in the US who worry that countries are not equipped to move fast enough to mitigate GHGs before the world reaches dangerous tipping points. One test being planned at the University of Washington involves seeding clouds with aerosols from salt water to ‘brighten’ them, which might help reflect more heat from sunlight back into space. The other at Harvard University will use a large helium-filled balloon carrying an instrument-filled gondola to briefly track a plume of man-made aerosols in the stratosphere. There is currently no national or international regime to monitor such experiments, which opponents say could cause uneven regional impacts on weather and climate around the world. (Scientific American)
And finally… The next hot fashion trend – Burning discarded clothing from retail chain H&M is helping a Swedish power plant replace coal for good. According to Bloomberg, the combined heat and power station in Vasteras, northwest of Stockholm, is converting from oil- and coal-fired generation to become a fossil fuel-free facility by 2020. That means burning recycled wood and trash, including clothes H&M can’t sell. “For us it’s a burnable material,” said Jens Neren, head of fuel supplies at Malarenergi AB, a utility which owns and operates the 54-year-old plant. “Our goal is to use only renewable and recycled fuels.”
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