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EU parliamentarians will next week vote on a bill that, without further changes, risks undermining recently-agreed EU ETS reforms by failing to account for the effects of other policies.
New Zealand emissions permits recorded fresh gains on Friday as modest supply continued to push bids north.
RGGI prices tumbled below $4.00 this week as participants prepared for the final auction of the year next Wednesday.
California’s Air Resources Board has released details on 2018’s WCI cap-and-trade auctions, the first year that will include Ontario in addition to California and Quebec.
EU carbon gained on Friday as traders were encouraged by strong demand signals, though prices remain lodged within a fairly narrow range ahead of contract expiries and the winter auction pause.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Passing of the torch – Germany passed on the presidency of the G20 major economies to Argentina today, with the latter pledging to carry on the former’s work in securing sustained commitment to the Paris Agreement, with all members except the US agreeing the accord was “irreversible”. The German government says its successor has committed to continuing many of the initiatives launched under the German presidency, a position that Argentinian environment minister Sergio Bergman confirmed in an interview with Clean Energy Wire.
Less intense – China’s carbon intensity fell about 4% in the first three quarters of 2017, putting the country on track to meet its five-year targets, Reuters reports. Li Gao, the head of the climate change office at the National Development and Reform Commission, told a conference that China had made clear progress in decoupling economic growth from CO2. (Reuters)
Frenemies – Three of the major oil and gas corporations are “enemies” of fossil fuels because of their past advocacy for climate action, including a carbon tax, coal executive Robert Murray said Thursday at a conference hosted by the Heritage Foundation and the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Prompted by comments from TPPF calling their carbon tax advocacy “so disingenuous,” Murray declared BP, Shell and Exxon Mobil “our enemies,” citing politics and shareholders, Politico reports. “They’re not doing our grandchildren justice, those three companies. The other oil and gas companies, they realize that once our enemies get rid of coal, they’re next,” Murray said.
New plan – The California Air Resources Board on Friday released the proposed final 2017 climate change Scoping Plan Update, which includes appendices and emissions modeling information and data. California’s Scoping Plan describes the actions the state will take to achieve the SB-32 climate goal of reducing GHGs at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. Bill AB-398, which extends California’s cap-and-trade scheme beyond 2020, directed ARB to update its plan by Jan. 1, 2018. The plan, which is the result of two years of development and consultation work, will be presented to the Board on Dec. 14 for consideration for approval, along with the finalised environmental documents, ARB said.
Good work – The Global Environment Facility (GEF) 53rd Council wrapped up today after approving a work programme of more than $500 million that puts a strong emphasis on support for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The programme, one of the largest in the current GEF funding cycle (GEF-6), spans all GEF focal areas and regions and comprises 83 projects and one programmatic approach. Some 101 recipient countries are set to benefit from GEF support, including 38 LDCs and 28 SIDS. The full list of approved projects can be found in the co-chairs’ summary of the meeting, which also details decisions taken to approve a new gender equality policy, a revised stakeholder engagement policy, and an updated policy on ethics and conflict of interest for Council Members, Alternates and Advisers.
Bundle up – Europe’s coldest December for seven years is unlikely to derail what will probably be one of the warmest years on record, Bloomberg reports. In a last chilly blast, the first half of this month will be unusually cold before warming to near normal temperatures, according to eight meteorologists surveyed by Bloomberg. December may still be the coolest since 2010 as high pressure near Iceland and northwest Russia funnels arctic winds south, said Tyler Roys, an Accuweather Inc. meteorologist in State College, Pennsylvania. While Europe is seen well-supplied for electricity this winter and natural gas stocks are higher than average for the time of year, those buffers could be tested in extended spells of extreme cold.
Use it or lose it – Some 60 companies on Thursday launched a new European association to the utilisation of CO2. CO2 Value Europe will promote the development of sustainable industrial solutions that convert CO2 into valuable products, in order to contribute to the net reduction of GHGs and to the diversification of the feedstock base. The association aims to influence policy-makers and funders by becoming the leading ambassador for the CO2 utilisation community. “We have invested our time and effort into this new association because we strongly believe in the potential value and impact of CO2 utilisation but recognise that turning that into reality requires better integration of the efforts of all interested stakeholders across sectors,” said Rowena Sellens, CEO of Econic Technologies, one of the association’s founding members.
Crypto corner – Climatecoin has announced that it will become the first carbon-neutral cryptocurrency in the world by “stapling” a carbon credit to every coin, after it signed a deal with exchange operator Carbon Trade Exchange. Under the deal, Climatecoin will also become the only cryptocurrency to be accepted as a payment on CTX’s global exchange platform, and it will be able to sell carbon credits to its current customers. “We solve so many problems with one deal; we underwrite our currency, we help save the planet, offset our Coins carbon and electricity ‘footprint’ and we show how we lead the world even in Crypto sector,” said Climatecoin CEO James Haft. Climatecoin token sales start today and run for one month. Separately, REDD project developer Global Oxygen has agreed to purchase 400 million Co2BitCoins, which “help alleviate the struggles of indigenous peoples in protecting their natural resources and fill the need for basic dependable energy.”
And finally… SUVs for the planet – Germany’s largest carmaker VW plans to release several new model heavy SUVs, bringing the share of the CO2-intense cars up to 40% of total sales, reports Die Welt. In light of stricter EU emissions limits from 2020, this strategy may seem “absurd”, but VW brand manager Herbert Diess argues sales of the high-demand vehicles will allow VW to invest over €34 billion in “future technologies” – mainly the development e-cars. Diess called the SUVs “our growth and profitability engine” that will generate the funds needed to “finance the transition to e-mobility”. (Clean Energy Wire)
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